By Cees Harmon, Abuja
Today makes it 365 days since NATIONAL ECONOMY was first published. Barely a month after the maiden publication, Nigeria, and indeed, the world was hit by one of the worst economic crises in modern history, occasioned by COVID-19, which threatened the sustainability of the paper. Toward the end of the year, the evil hands of death struck the visioner of the publication, Samuel Ndanusa Isaiah. Through the tough times of 2020, NATIONAL ECONOMY grew from strength to strength, and promises to live the vision of its founder, speaking truth about and to Nigeria’s economic players.
The late publisher who had conceived the idea more than five years before February 20, 2020, dreamed of a paper that would convey the understanding of the Nigerian economy in a way that as many as possible agents of the economy would be at ease with. He also envisaged a medium that would serve as a mediator between governments at all levels and the various actors of the economy.
Mr Sam Nda-Isaiah said the inspiration of setting up the paper hinged on getting Nigeria out of a well-defined economic quagmire. He had described Nigeria’s lot as standing in front of a moving train, warning that something must be done fast to avert a disaster.
Moreover, chairman, as Sam Nda-Isaiah was fondly called, was passionate about Nigeria achieving its deserved greatness and earning its due respect in the comity of nations.
In that regard, chairman was passionate about using NATIONAL ECONOMY to serve as a guide for Nigerians in the evolving intra-continental interfacing of economic activities in the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
To that end, the day before his demise, December 10, 2020, he constituted the Board of Economists of NATIONAL ECONOMY. At that meeting, he emphasized the need for that board to meet quarterly to proffer direction to all stakeholders of the AfCFTA.
The board subsequently committed to working with relevant authorities and stakeholders to steer a path to getting Nigeria out its current economic woes, and to offer advice on how to ready the Nigerian economy for the looming external competition that have the propensity to make or mar the economy in view of AfCFTA.
The board includes eminent economic personalities such as: Dr Chuwunenye Kocha of Rivers State University, Port Harcourt; a management consultant, Dr Emeka Okengwu; Professor Umma Abbas of Bayero University, Kano; a management consultant, Mr Abdulrauf Aliyu; chairman, LEADERSHIP Group Limited/NATIONAL ECONOMY Media Limited, Mr Sam Nda-Isaiah; Professor Murtala Sagagi of Bayero University, Kano; a development economist, Mr Ahmed Hussain Musa; Professor Lere Baale of Business School Netherlands International, Nigeria, and Dr Bongo Adi of Lagos Business School.
NATIONAL ECONOMY has definitely come to stay, and is positioned better than ever, to fulfil the desires of its founder, whose dreams for Nigeria remain sterling.
The family of NATIONAL ECONOMY celebrates this day. We fondly remember chairman, and are inspired and motivated by his passion for this publication to shine its light ever brighter.