Experts canvass democratic framework for effective leadership
Experts have expressed worry over rising debts, inflation and other economic challenges despite the country’s vast resources. They believed that what the country needs is a democratic framework for effective leadership.
They lamented that almost 63 years after independence, the nation had remained largely poor, with a high rate of out-of-school children and where about 96 per cent of its revenue is used to pay mounting debts.
Founding Partner, Banwo and Ighodalo, Asue Ighodalo, said this at the 47th yearly conference of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN). He maintained that the country has abandoned democracy, justice and sound governance practices across levels, saying Nigeria must accept consequences for the kind of leaders it produces.
According to him, many leaders are without values, but corrupt and disconnected from the people.
“There is something we should shed and throw away if we want to achieve our full potential. We abandoned hard work, creative work, efficiency, justice, the rule of law and sound governance practices. The people must find a democratic mechanism in choosing their leaders,” he said. He said ICSAN being at the forefront of propagating corporate governance, slightly underestimates its capacity. To this end, he challenged the institute to play its role in the development of the country.
“You must provide a clear and proactive roadmap and see yourselves as a catalyst for a thriving and inclusive economy. You must be at the forefront of all reforms because you are holders of the governance structure that holds the economy,” he stated.
According to him, in an enabling environment that is right and thriving, sound corporate governance would always guarantee excellent economic performance.
Speaking on the theme: ‘Sound Governance as a Cursor to a Thriving Economy: A Case for Inclusiveness’, Vice Chancellor, Pan Atlantic University, Prof. Enase Okonedo, said for Nigeria to achieve a thriving economy, values of integrity, transparency, accountability and respect for the rule of law as well as diversity and inclusion must be upheld.
She lamented that values of accountability and respect for the rule of law are now diminishing values, urging that Nigeria must have the legislative and institutional framework for leaders to be held accountable.
On how government reforms could be inclusive, the don advocated regulatory reforms such as access to education and policies that would promote employment opportunities and job creation as well as social safety net for the vulnerable and poor.
According to her, having an uneducated workforce will spell doom for the economy, while inclusiveness can sustain the economy in the long term. The President and Chairman of Council, ICSAN, Funmi Ekundayo, said the theme aimed to establish the role sound governance plays in establishing a strong, viable and vigorous economy, while making a special case for the concept of inclusiveness as the bedrock of national growth and sustainable development.
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