Economic growth: Private sector operators advocate policy alignment with incentives
Canvass return to developmental state
For Nigeria to tread the path of sustainable economic growth and development, operators in the private sector have advocated policy alignment embedded with incentives.
Lamenting the current state of the economy, they argued that there is need to stabilise macroeconomic indices, bring down inflation, regulate forex, create enabling business environment, augment labour and have right people in leadership for effective implementation of policies.
At a National Economic Dialogue, organised by Nigerian Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Professor of Economics, Lagos Business School (LBS), Bongo Adi, said challenges facing the country are not about policies but how to grow institutional capabilities to pursue policies.
Speaking on the theme, ‘Promoting a Novel Approach to Policy Design, Implementation and Monitoring in 2023’, he said though Nigeria is privileged to have natural endowments, the resources are not commensurate with development.
He canvassed adaptation of a classic developmental state, where policies are used to develop the economy. He said having a classic developmental state also entails having a meritocratic bureaucracy with embedded autonomy and financial repression, where government intervenes in economic matters by allocating funding and incentives.
Adi, who cited how Japan, China and Asian countries have achieved a developmental state through effective policy reforms, said Nigeria could also toe the line leading to macroeconomic stability, good macroeconomic management and equitable growth.
At the panelist session, Managing Director of BusinessDay Media, Dr. Ogho Okiti, said policies are not the country’s problems but rather people in leadership positions, who do not have right incentives to rule the citizens and align with the country’s growth.
Fiscal Policy Partner and Africa Tax Leader, PwC, Taiwo Oyedele, called for data-driven policies, inclusive approach and coordination to solve the nation’s challenges.
He urged NECA to build institutional capacity and strengthen advocacy for the private sector to have a voice on economic decisions within government.
According to him, the private sector must have the ears of the government. Chief Executive Officer, Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE), Dr. Muda Yusuf, called for the review of existing policies and creation of an enabling business environment, saying policy environment is very critical for nation’s growth.
He said corruption thrives in an environment where there are no consequences, adding that policy environment needs to be right to ensure the nation is not celebrating corruption.
Director-General of NECA, Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, said a policy document would be put in place for effective advocacy to guide the incoming administration.