President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has stated that his administration is determined to arrest the general feeling amongst the populace that it is still business as usual in the public sector.He stated this Monday, when he declared open the 18th Nigerian Economic Summit, with the theme “Deregulation, Cost of Governance and Nigeria’s Economic Prospects,” which held in Abuja.
The President who was represented at the event by Vice President Arc Mohammed Namadi Sambo, said “This lack of trust in the public sector is an inherited burden, which we are determined to address.”
“Let me assure you all that as far as this administration is concerned, it is no longer business as usual. We are strongly committed to rebuilding the hopes of Nigerians in the future of our country. I take seriously the trust and confidence reposed in me by Nigerians. I will discharge this sacred trust to the best of my ability, to the benefits of all people.”
He also stated that as a means of entrenching probating and transparency in government, his administration had instituted the policy of performance contract, as well as empowering the EFCC to prosecute those that undermine the system, no matter how highly placed.
“We are also placing emphasis on transparency and accountability in the oil and gas industry. The newly introduced process for the payment of subsidy on importation of refined petroleum products by marketers, as well as the empowerment of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to prosecute those that undermine the system, no matter how highly placed, clearly underline our determination,” he stated.
According to him “the task of nation building is a shared responsibility, requiring both the leadership and the governed to demonstrate integrity and accountability in the conduct and management of national affairs.”
President Jonathan noting that the Summit was a model of Public Private Partnership, stated that he had directed Federal MDA’s to implement relevant aspects of the NSE recommendations, saying “It is quite reassuring that the NES’s technical inputs have informed a number of government policies and reform measures. The blueprints on the Transformation Agenda and the Nigeria Vision 20:2020 are living testimonies of this collaboration and synergy.”
He further stated that the theme of this year’s Summit was apt as it captures the essence of government’s transformation agenda, adding that his administration was committed to providing the enabling environment and policy thrust for the private sector to thrive.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Mr. Fuluso Phillips stated that the Summit sought to continue to fashion out ways to improve the lives of Nigerians by supporting government in its quest to drive the economy. He noted that Nigeria’s economy was growing. He used the opportunity to call on the Federal Government to diversify the country’s economic base.
Highlights of the event were a Presidential Dialogue led by Vice President Sambo. The event also witnessed an update on the Transformation Agenda by the Minister of National Planning, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman and presentation of the Nigerian Economic Summit Scorecard 2012 by the Director General of the NESG, Mr. Frank Nweke II. The Keynote address was “Economic Transformation through Deregulation” by Prof. Paul Reynolds, Director, Global Economic Institute. The Summit which commenced on Monday, December 3, will end on Wednesday December 5, 2012.