Stakeholders from both public and private sectors have called for a more serious, working and purposeful engagement between government and the private sector to produce an economy of inclusive growth for Nigerians.
They made the call during a virtual conference that was organized by the Governance and Institutions Policy Commission of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) with the theme “Government and Private sector engagement in the times of the COVID-19 Pandemic and beyond.”
NESG board member and CEO Kainos Edge, Mrs Wonu Adetayo said the pandemic has allowed government to look at technology utilization, saying the experience has shown it is vital for the government to produce accurate, useful, and up to date information to people who will help inform decision-makers better and guide in the creation of effective policies.
Founder, Africa Initiative for Governance Mr Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede said the pandemic require multi-generational responses and should be approached as a marathon battle. “…the real issue lies on the economic and social side where we continue to suffer from social unrest which can be linked to the trauma of COVID-19 which ignited a grand nature of negative trends including double-digit inflation and unemployment,” Mr. Aig-Imoukhuede said.
He stated that the challenge is to have an effective broad-based public-private partnership with evidence-based data, which emphasizes capacity delivery, experience, tools, and technology to respond to economic and social challenges effectively. He said that it was important to scale up to multi-stakeholder partnerships between the public and private sector on the vulnerable groups and ensure proper strategic deliberations that give responsibilities to certain people in government.
Special adviser to vice president Osinbajo on economic matters, Dr Adeyemi Dipeolu, said government and private sector can work together to provide information and guidance. Virtual and digital platforms came to the rescue, a situation with a key lesson that can tackle many of the developmental challenges through a robust adoption of digital technology,” he stated.
Noting that the federal government responded to the outbreak of the pandemic with economic sustainability plan to save jobs and boost local production, Dipeolu reiterated the need to look at other key areas of interventions, including cooperation to strengthen the civil service that will lead to increased productivity, utilization of data protection tools, capacity building and digitization.
Director, Africa Initiative for Governance, Mrs Ofovwe Aig-Imoukhuede stressed the need for Private sector entities to collaborate and bring their resources to bear in the nation’s development.
Also, Akin Soetan of the office of the vice president said there is the need for collaboration between government and the private sector that should be aimed at supporting machinery for creating an enabling environment for Nigerians to thrive, stating that the pandemic has brought to the fore the need to be inclusive and address the concerns of all sections of the population, particularly the vulnerable groups.