By Omoh Gabriel, Business Editor,
The federal government and the organised private sector are billed to meet at a one day diologue section to brain storm on the economy and also to fashion a way forward for a viral and stronger private sector voice in the economy. The event is being put together by the Chief Economic Adviser to the president and the Nigeria Economic Summit Group NESG preparatory to the take off of the 12th Nigeria Economic Summit.
Expected at the stakeholders forum are the federal government Economic Team, The Manufacturer Association of Nigeria (MAN); Nigerian Association Of Chambers of Commerce Industry Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA); Nigeria Economic Summit Group NESG; Nigeria Association of Small Scale Industries (NASSI); Nigeria Association of Small and Medium Scale Enterprise (NASME); Women in Business (WIMBIZ); The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC); Public Affairs Committees of the both the Senate and House of Representatives; The Nigerian Network of NGOs and Development Partners
For the first time in the 12 year history of Economic summit a Public Private sector dialogue will precede the actual summit. Also for the first time the various bodies representing interest groups in the private sector will be present under one roof to dialogue with the government on the way forward for the economy as well as possibly consolidating the groups into one formidable private sector umbrella body for effective public policy advocacy.
The Tuesday stakeholders meeting on the economy will be chaired by the Economic Adviser to the president and CEO National Planning Commission, Dr. Osita Ogbu and former Chief Economic Adviser to the President, Chief Philip Asiodu co-chairing the Public Private Dialogue Roundtable while the Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala and Mr. Benjamin Herzberg Private sector specialist of the World Bank are billed to speak at the dialogue.
According to NESG ‚ÄúPublic Private Dialogue (PPD) has gained currency as an important aspect of policy reform in the development process. In the past six years President Olusegun Obasanjo has himself championed Public/Private Sector Dialogue on wide ranging issues and sectors in Nigeria‚Äù.
But NESG said that despite the progress so far made there are, however, a number of gaps in the current framework for Public/Private Sector Dialogue among which are that the various groups within the Private Sector, Civil Society that are often working at cross purposes with each other generating an environment of competition rather than collaboration; It said that as a result of this development within the private sector ‚ÄúThe flow of information is often restricted so that not all stakeholders get involved‚Äù and that ‚ÄúThere is a tendency for Government to be faced with often inconsistent demands as a multiplicity of non state actor groups dialogue with government on same issues at different times‚Äù.
According to NESG ‚ÄúIt is clear, therefore, that the PPD process will be significantly improved by a harmonized approach and a common platform. It is suggested that a common platform for PPD will provide a more consistent framework for private sector input into policy formulation.
NESG, therefore, proposes that an all stakeholders forum to discuss modalities for creating such a PPD framework will be most beneficial to the on-going socio-economic reform process. In order, therefore, to build confidence among the various stakeholders the Economic Adviser to the President, Dr Osita Ogbu and Chief Philip Asiodu are jointly hosting a PPD Roundtable to consider the above issues‚Äù.