In line with achieving the vision 2020, president Goodluck Jonathan has inaugurated new members to the National Economic Council (NEC) in Abuja.
The highest statutory economic decision body of the country, NEC, which is chaired by the vice president of the country, Namadi Sambo is meant to achieve the country’s aim of being
– one of the twenty largest economy in the world
– able to consolidate its leadership role in Africa and;
– Able to establish itself as a significant player in the goal economic and political arena.
– Ensure development programs that shall allow immediate creation of jobs as a new and improved economic and social status
– Ensure that appropriate monitoring and evaluation mechanism is put in place to facilitate the effective implementation of the policies at the sub-national level.
Other members of the council include the state Governors of the federation, the minister of finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala; Minister of the Federal capital Territory, Mr Bala Muhammed; Attorney General of the Federation and minister of Justice Mohammed Adoke; Chief economic adviser to the President- Professor Nwanze Okidegbe; National Planning Minister- Shamsudeen Usman and the Central bank of Nigeria(CBN) governor-Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
Apart from being consistent with the aspiration of the transformation agenda of Nigeria’s vision 2020 , the council is also charged with the responsibility of ;
– improving the economy and its management process at the federal and sub-national levels
– a forum for interaction between the Federal government and the state government
– make decision that would be implemented for the transformation of the country and improvement of the transformation agenda of the government
Although some of the recent actions undertaken by the council include reviewing the Nigerian foreign policy from having Africa as its center piece to being determined by the economic interest of the country, creation of the sovereign wealth fund, funding the National integrated power project and the passage of the fiscal responsibility bill.
In achieving its goal, NEC has been provided with another management team to aid its responsibility. The body is the Economic Management Team(EMT). The work of the EMT pools on information on industries and sectors that have potentials of creating jobs that can slow the growing scrounge of unemployment in the country. It seeks to explore how the entertainment industry, sport and leather production would make a great source of investment that would help the nation grow economically. This is because job creation is an essential part of economic development.
The members of the EMT include:
Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi okonjo Iweala- leader of the EMT group
Aliko Dangote, the president of Dangote Groups and one of the richest man in Africa selected by Forbes
President o the Manufacturer Association of Nigeria (MAN) and former minister of Industries, Chief Kola Jamodu
Mr Atedo Peterside and Arigboje Imolu Khuedu( both bankers)
Other representation from the agriculture and transportation are still expected in due time.
To ensure transparency, good relationship and maximum cooperation with the central government , the Federal Government appointed two Governors as part of the Economic Management Team(EMT)- Governor Murtala Nyako( Adamawa state) as the honorary Adviser to the president on Agriculture and Governor Peter Obi of Anambra state as the Honorary advise to he president on financial issues.
Although, since the inception of NEC there has been some development in the economy of the country especially with the trade and investment minister, Mr Olusegun Aganga trying to improve the investing frontiers of the economy from the oil and gas sector try sector to the automobile and refinery sector of the economy coupled with the country World Bank director prediction that with Nigeria focus on investment, the country has potential to grow at a double digit rate; vision 2020 may continue to be a mirage if there is no cooperation among the key players in the economy of the country.
Like President Jonathan said at the NEC inauguration, Governors should not play politics with the economic growth of the country as the economy of the country should be the priority of everyone. This is because without fixing the economy, Nigeria cannot move forward as a nation.
Citizens on their part should also do their fair share by doing their civic responsibility of paying their dues- tax, as at when due and preparing the challenge that may come up in the reformation of the economy, as the maxim that says – no pain, no gain.
As to this, different tiers of government as well as the citizens on their part should place economic issues at the front burner because a well managed economy will provide a better future for the coming generation.
With this constant relationship maintained among the tiers of government and co-operation on the part of the citizen, the nation will have a sound economy as even the talk of practical implementation of government economic decision will achieve better results and it will bring the state and federal government into focus in terms of eco-management focus.
However, despite the seemed seriousness of the present administration in paying close attention to the running of the nation’s economy, can the NEC achieve Vision 2020? How feasible for instance is it to make Nigeria one of the twenty largest economy in the world by 2020? Remember, this is not the first time we have set such visions or road maps. For instance, 2010 has since come and gone and present day Nigeria has no semblance to what the famous Vision 2010 set as its goals…