Former Head of the Interim National Government, ING, Chief Ernest Shonekan, on Thursday attributed the slow pace in the nation’s economic growth to the delays in policy implementation.
Shonekan disclosed this during the formal commissioning of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) House in Lagos.
He said that the nation had reach the stage where “it is not that we lack good policies, rather we have always faltered at the implementation stage of many credible policies.
“Time has come for us to change this sad trend. I believe that the NESG, as a think-tank institution, can help in this regard by monitoring government policies”.
Shonekan said that the NESG should come up with policies that would be realistic to government, aimed at tracking the implementation of such recommended policies.
He said that the NESG needed to work more on formulation of policies, having developing its own building after operating from rented apartments in Lagos since its establishment 21 years ago.
The former head of state commended the NESG for putting before the government measures that would make both private and public sectors to work together to transform the economy.
He said that the NESG had also tried to make the country an investment destination to be reckoned with in Africa.
Also speaking, Dr Abubakar Sulaiman, Minister, National Planning Commission (NPC), represented by Mr Bassy Akpanyung, Secretary of NPC, said that the commissioning of the NESG House was significant to the institution.
Sulaiman said that the NESG was a private sector initiative with a core mandate to organise annual economic summits and other related events, in collaboration with the NPC that represented the public sector.
“It signifies the formal transition of the NESG from infancy to adulthood, with the provision of a roof over its head, after two decades of existence.
“It brings together development practitioners, civil society, labour and representatives of the academia, as well as providing the participants with unique opportunities for consensus on issues of national development”, Sulaiman said.
He said that the inauguration of the first annual Nigeria Economic Summit (NES) in 1993, as a national platform, was to promote public/private sector dialogue, to accelerate national development.
Sulaiman said that inspite of the numerous challenges, the NESG and the NPC had continued as partners to sustain the needed public/private dialogue platform.
He said that the outcome of the previous summits was the policy commission which was established to facilitate the formulation and implementation of the summit’s recommendations.
Sulaiman added that the annual summit had played a critical role in the emergence of government policies tagged Nigeria’s Vision 20:2020 economic transformation blueprint of the Federal Government. (NAN)