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Fayemi, Kalu, Daniel, others task government on economy


Otunba Gbenga Daniel

Prominent Nigerians, including Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti and erstwhile chief executives of Abia and Ogun states, Orji Uzor Kalu, and Otunba Gbenga Daniel, have called on the Federal Government to fix the nation’s economy for the betterment of the citizenry.

Cautioning against politicking to the detriment of the public good, the trio though differed on the measures to be employed without tampering with the current system of government in the country, they, however, appreciated the emergency at hand.

Speaking at a second annual lecture with the theme, Challenges facing Nigeria’s economy and the way out, organised by Freedom Online, a digital newspaper, in Lagos yesterday, Fayemi, in his paper titled: “Fixing the Economy: Less politics, more substance”, stated that the nation had what it takes to be most prosperous.Represented by Akin Oyebode, the Ekiti governor canvassed a road map to engender the country’s development, citing what his state currently does to boost its economy.

The immediate past Minister for Solid Minerals Development said for Nigeria to achieve its potentials, its economy must be competitive. “We must have a critical policy framework that can give foreign investors the confidence to create and make Nigeria a global investment market. We need to develop a lasting social investment in all sectors, including power, education, agriculture and trade. We need a knowledge economy that can truly translate to what obtains in the developed world,” he said.

Fayemi expressed concern that the cost of not investing in infrastructure and human capital was usually painful, and in Nigeria’s case, is already manifesting in the unemployment rate hovering above 40 per cent.

According t him, “with two-thirds of our population under the age of 35, it is important to set the country on the path of sustainable economic development, if not for our sake, but for generations after ours.”On fixing the economy, the governor said the discussion must start by identifying the necessary conditions for inclusive economic development, which not only ensure macroeconomic growth, but also lifts people out of poverty and creates jobs for them.

On his part, Kalu, who is the Senator-elect for Abia North and chairman of the occasion, said it was imperative to expand the economy to give more leverage to the private sector, as according to him, government has nothing to do with businesses.

In his address as special guest of honour, Daniel reiterated the need for restructuring, noting that the exercise would address the systemic problems in the polity. The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, held that the Muhammadu Buhari administration had not lost sight of revamping the economy since assuming office on May 29, 2015.

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