Leadership (Abuja)

8 January 2013

Nigeria: UN Chief Tasks FG On Economy

Prof. Banji Oyelaran - Oyeyinka, the Director, Monitoring and Research Division, United Nations - Habitat, has urged the Federal Government to pursue a development agenda that is manufacturing - based rather than an oil - dependent.

Oyelaran - Oyeyinka made the call on Tuesday in Ibadan at a seminar organised by the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER).

He said the actions and behaviour of Nigeria's political elites over the last 50 years had been opposed to economic development.

"More direct, the state in Nigeria has been a major force behind Nigeria's arrested development because the political elites have acted in a manner to oppose all efforts at industrialisation.

"This is the main reason why Nigeria is at the bottom of rung in the development table of most latecomer countries to industrialisation," he said.

Oyelaran - Oyeyinka said further that the new development agenda should ultimately result in the establishment of new set of institutions and the reduction of poverty level to 20 per cent by 2020.

He advocated narrowing the persistent high levels of inequality in the Nigerian society, saying this was the source of persistent crime and conflict.

The don noted that the state, working with critical non - state actors, had a central role to play in leading development.

Oyelaran - Oyeyinka said that rather than aim to rank among the top 20 richest countries, Nigeria should aim for a transformational agenda by facing squarely the development agenda deficit in different indices.

He also said there was an urgent need to boost power supply in order to stimulate and achieve greater industrial dynamism.

Oyelaran - Oyeyinka said the country should improve on security in order to create an enabling environment for inclusive private sector development that could generate jobs and boost the economy.

He advised government to reduce cost of governance and focus more on effective delivery of public services.

His paper was entitled "The Praxis and Perils of the Nigerian Oil Economy."

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