The Nigerian Economic Society says it has solicited the assistance of the Senate to consider and pass the NES Bill when it is finally submitted to the National Assembly.
The president of NES, Sarah Anyanwu, who disclosed this at a press briefing on Thursday, said the society’s team visited the Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, on Tuesday, during which it presented a copy of the bill to him.
She explained that the bill was still in its draft form and currently being worked on.
The NES president denied reports that she described the Nigerian economy under President Muhammadu Buhari as unstable and directionless.
She also said she never demanded on behalf of the Society more economists in various teams to promote economic growth and development to avoid the country going into recession.
“Whereas I said that NES would be grateful for the assistance of the Minority Leader to consider and pass the NES Bill when it is finally submitted to the NASS, adding that the Bill is in the draft form and currently being worked on,” Mrs Anyanwu, a professor, said.
“I presented a draft copy of the Bill to the Distinguished Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe.
“The media men did not take anything from anything from the written presentation which I gave the Senate Minority Leader a copy but only misquoted the oral presentation I made.”
Mrs Anyanwu said the Society “holds in high esteem the strong partnership between it and the government, and looks forward to a better, stronger, and closer continuous working partnership.”
She, however, recounted that at its virtual conference between September 8 and 12, the Society had observed the problems of high cost of governance and corruption which it said “account for the poor quality of education, health, and socio-economic infrastructure, the crippling business environment, adverse movements in key social-economic indicators and the generally low quality of life of citizens.”
She said the conference, which had its theme as “Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in Post COVID-19 Era: What next for Nigeria,” made numerous recommendations on the economy, one of which was the creation of a functional National Trade Policy for the country.
Mrs Anyanwu also said the society called on the country to pursue in an aggressive and pragmatic way, “an inclusive economy, characterised by transformative leadership, re-invented governance, overhauled educational and health sectors, improved infrastructure and an economy that is substantially diversified away from crude oil, as pre-conditions for Nigeria to benefit from AfCFTA.”
Other recommendations, according to the NSE president, include:
-The youth could help the country to derive maximum benefits from AfCFTA, using their intellectual capital, if they are motivated to do so;
-Elimination of anti-labour policies in Nigeria is imperative, while at the same time ensuring that workers are given the deserved recognition and fair treatment in the country’s production process;
-The policy maker in the country should and implement reforms that are designed to enhance value addition to upscale raw materials to intermediate goods and to final products;
-For Nigeria to have a digital economy and to create the enabling environment for industrial and manufacturing sectors’ players to operate smoothly and efficiently, the power sector, needs to be completely overhauled; and
-Use of the Private Partnership (PPP) arrangements to redress the wide infrastructural gaps in the country.