Nigerian Economy: Experts Query Growth Indices

Nigerian Economy: Experts Query Growth IndicesThe Nigerian Economic Society (NES) has criticised the reports about national economic growth in the country.

At a forum organised by the economists in Abuja, the group maintained that the recent reported growth after the re-basement of the economy was not a true reflection of the lives of citizenry.

According to the Keynote Speaker at the event, Professor Akpan Ekpo, the government needs to strike a balance between economic growth and development.

Professor Ekpo argued that Nigeria has continued to experience jobless economic growth in the last fifteen years.

He also recommended that government policies focus on development for Nigeria to experience all inclusive economic growth.

Meanwhile, former Minister of Planning, Dr Shamsudeen Usman and the NES President, Professor Olu Ajakaiye, believed that the challenge has not been that of policies but lack of good leadership.

According to the experts, Nigeria would continue to experience jobless economic growth unless government makes deliberate economic policies that will encourage both growth and development.

Nigeria was rated as the 26th largest economy in the world and largest in Africa after the economy was re-based in 2013.

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose from $1,555 to $2,688 thereby placing South Africa, Austria and Argentina behind Nigeria in economic growth ranking.


PDP Confident Of Victory In March 28 Polls

PDPThe leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says it is optimistic that the party would emerge victorious in Saturday’s presidential elections.

The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Olisa Metuh, told a news conference in Abuja that the PDP has mobilized enough grassroots support to guarantee the party’s victory at the weekend.

In what appeared to be a renewed optimism ahead of the Saturday polls, the National Publicity Secretary of the ruling PDP, Olisah Metuh told journalists that his party would win the polls.

Mr Metuh based his convictions on the support and feedback he says the party has received from supporters during their campaigns.

While responding to questions from journalists on the party’s stand on whether voters should wait to defend their votes after voting, the PDP Spokesman said that supporters of the party should abide by the electoral provisions.

Meanwhile, at a separate news conference, Spokesman for the party’s Presidential Campaign Organisation, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, expressed concern over an alleged compromise in the security features of the card reader device to be used for the elections.

Although the optimism for victory was the same with Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, as he was also confident that the President would be reelected at the polls, he warned that the alleged compromise in the card readers could affect the elections if not addressed.

28 political parties are expected to participate in the general elections that will commence on Saturday March 28 with the Presidential, House of Representatives and the Senate.


Business Incorporated: Role Of Education In Job Creation, Inclusive Growth

Business incorporatedThis edition of Business Incorporated focuses on the role of education in job creation, inclusive growth and bridging the inequality gap in Nigeria.

The President of Nigeria-Britain Association and business development consultant, Mr Tunde Arogunmati speaks on how Nigeria’s education sector can work to achieve a sustainable economy.

Nigerian Education Will Not Be Business As Usual – Nnatuanya

Sunrise NnatuanyaThe Co-Founder of Every Nigerian Child Project, Ifechukwu Nnatuanya has expressed confidence that all recommendations made at the just concluded Nigerian Economic Summit (NES) would be well implemented.

Speaking on Channels Television, having being a participant at the Summit which focused on developing the country’s education sector, Mr Nnatuanya said, “If anyone thinks it’s going to be business as usual, they’re going to be wrong.”

He spoke about some of the recommendations and the series of initiatives that were on-going and which he was also part of as he joined the Sunrise Daily team on a post-mortem of the summit.

On the general quality of Nigerian graduates as discussed at the just concluded summit, Nnatuanya noted that the submission that the quality was low was a blanket statement which is usually inevitable in a conference like the NES. He noted that the major challenge was that measuring such records is difficult in Nigeria as most statistics available are estimates.

He made reference to examples of students from public schools that have shown great intellectual capacity comparable to those found in private schools as proof that there are exceptions when drawing conclusions about the quality of graduates from Nigerian schools.

There are fears that the recommendations of the summit, when presented to the Federal Executive Council would be made to go through the usual set up of committees, thereby creating a possible set-back in their implementation.

He emphasized an initial statement that it would not be business as usual as many more people were involved in the education sector through the discussions at the summit and several issues had been brought to public knowledge, which mandates all Nigerians to follow up on the activities of the Government towards their implementation.

Nnatuanya spoke extensively about the Citizen-led assessment programme which his group has been working on. It is, according to him, a system that would ensure that more Nigerians get involved with improving the standard of education in Nigeria.

This is a project that started in Pakistan and has been successfully exported to other countries, including countries in Africa, which has given them the confidence that it would work in Nigeria.

The improvement of the Nigerian curriculum also came to the fore and Nnatuanya maintained that a major solution is for the universities to have 70% autonomy in developing their own curriculum. He explained that while some institutions would want to focus on Science and Technology, some would have great strength in the social sciences.

He stated that it would be easier for these schools to teach what they design rather than the current situation where the universities are told what to teach without a consideration of the strength of such schools.

Mr Nnatuanya, who is a product of the Federal Government College in Lagos, decried how much the standard had fallen in the unity schools since his time decades ago, but he stated, “Change takes time, change can be difficult but we are on the path to change in the education sector.”

Although Nnatuanya had mainly emphasized the involvement of Nigerian citizens, he was not going to ignore the role of the private sector, which he referred to as being “very huge”. He noted that all the reforms would be better driven with the full support of players in the business world, especially in ensuring accountability and helping universities in ensuring that the graduates truly have the skill set their qualifications demand.

Great Education Cannot Exist Without National Vision – Analyst

Vincent AnigboguThe Director General, Institute For National Transformation International, Professor Vincent Anigbogu, on Thursday said that Nigeria can only achieve its desired goals in the education sector when it is able to properly articulate and achieve a national vision, as great education is a product of national agenda.

Anigbogu, a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, at the Nigerian Economic Summit on Education, said “education is a tool, not an end in itself. It’s a tool for national development, so if you try to execute an education policy outside the context of a clear national vision, it is a journey that will not succeed very well.”

In trying to paint a picture of what Nigeria needs to aspire to, Anigbogu made reference to a statement made by a former President of Singapore and re-stated by Dr. Victor Koh, a delegate at the Summit: “Singapore’s vision is to build a multicultural, multi-religious, multilingual society that is rugged and dynamic enough to compete in the world market.”

At the time the statement was initially made, Singapore had a per capita income of $400 but have over the years grown to be the 4th wealthiest nation of the world with a per capita income of $62,000.

“In the process, they’ve also built one of the best education systems in the world,” Anigbogu added, insisting that “you don’t build education outside the context of a strong national vision that creates passion, ownership.”

He explained that when there is a clear vision of what the country should be, in striving to build that nation, “you will end up building a good education system because it’s a pre-requisite.”

Furthermore, Anigbogu blamed the government for failing to articulate the vision for the nation properly. “If we do, we have not done a good job to allow that vision to drive all our policies including our education policy, so that every teacher in the classroom, every government employee knows where we are going and there’s a monitoring and evaluation system so that we know where we are.”

He stressed, “Besides having a clear vision, we must make sure that that vision is recited on a regular basis, so that everybody hears it and buys into it.” This, he said, will foster passion, ownership and focus.

Anigbogu also disclosed that the organization had made recommendations to governments in a total of eight countries, including Nigeria but had not been invited by the Nigerian government. “I will humbly say that most nations where we are, the government of that nation actually invited us and they are listening to us. When we are invited in Nigeria, we will respond.”

Commenting on claims that the education sector has been politicised, Anigbogu said that the trend can only be reversed when “politicians understand the long term implication of not having quality education sector.”

Revenue Allocation not as simple as its Approach- Tony Uranta

The Executive Secretary of the National Summit Group;Mr.Tony Uranta was also with the Sunrise Daily crew to further look into the issue of the revenue allocation formular which has been a bone of contention.

Mr.Uranta said the revenue allocation issue is not as simple as the approach it is getting as it is based on derivation.

Tony Nyiam speaks on the Birnin Kebbi Rescue Bid

The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has sent a heartfelt condolence message to Britain, Italy and the families of the two foreign hostages killed by the boko haram while rescue effort was being staged.

Analyst Tony Nyiam came on board to discuss the foiled Birnin Kebbi rescue.