(NECA) has recommended that the Federal Government adopt the UN Development Programme (UNDP) benchmark on development deliveries. The President of NECA, Chief Richard Uche, said at the association’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos that delivery benchmark was an avenue for Nigeria to evaluate performance on set goals.
“It would be noted that beyond all expectations and in spite of the seven-point agenda, the economy did not fare significantly better than 2009,” Uche said. Uche said that the persisting harsh national business environment was due to the absence of national targets and poor implementation of development agenda.
“Most organisations in the private sector were been compelled to continue to be the government of their own, generating their own power, providing their own security, water and sometimes involved in the capital intensive work of repairing roads. All these add to the cost of doing business. Notwithstanding the subsidies and bailout funds earmarked for the textile, aviation, agriculture and other industries, there are challenges faced by organisations wishing to access these funds,” he said. Uche, who commended government’s efforts, however, said that the economic agenda had been frustrated by bureaucratic bottleneck.
On labour’s demand for improved welfare package for its members, Uche said that the incidence of strikes, policy summersault and disappearing culture of social dialogue with the Business Management Organisations (BMOs) were some of the contentious issues that caused the decline in the 2010 budget.
“Sadly, good policies when they are enacted are not followed to conclusion. The rate of policy reversal by the government is detrimental to growth of the economy. A case in point was the un banning of importation of textile products,” Uche said. He said that government should be conscious of the implication of the policy reversal on local employment and to avoid policies that export Nigerian jobs to other economies. According to him, the current structure of social dialogue with various committees set up by government lacked equal representation and not inclusive.
“We urge government to institutionalise social dialogue as it is done in countries such as South Africa. Social dialogue should at best be a right and not a privilege,” Uche said. He, however, expressed the hope that the expectations of the 2011 budget, which was predicated on a number of key assumptions intended to foster inclusive growth and job creation, would be met at the end of 2011 fiscal year.