As the Nigerian Economic Group (NESG) opens its 28th summit in Abuja on Monday, Chairman of the group, Mr Asue Ighodalo, has stepped down.
Ighodalo, who said that his decision was in keeping with long tradition of the group, also announced the erstwhile first Vice-Chairman, Mr Niyi Yusuf as the new chairman.
” Having served two terms of two years each, and in keeping with our almost three decades tradition of seamless governance transition, at the end of this summit, I step down as chairman.
Accordingly, at our last NESG Board meeting, Yusuf, who served as my first Vice-Chairman was elected to succeed me as chairman.
“Niyi, the Managing Director of Verraki Africa, is one of the distinguished global leaders at the NESG, and has served practically all “paying to serve” roles for over more than a decade,” he said
Ighodalo said that the new chairman would be assisted by Mr Osagie Okunbor as first vice-chairman, Mr Boye Okunsanya as second vice-chairman and Hajiya Amina Maina as third vice-chairman.
“It has been my pleasure, privilege and honour to serve as the chairman of the NESG,” he said.
Earlier, Ighodalo called for a transformation of the Nigerian economy to “the complete opposite of what it is today ”.
He called on leaders to concern themselves with how to grow the economy to about 20 times its present size.
“Successful national turnarounds start first with addressing basic internal problems and fixing them, and then settling the country’s sights on externally driven growth possibilities.
“We must start by achieving macroeconomic stability as this is the foundation of economic growth,” he said.
According to him, our economic competitiveness is weak.
“Simply put, we do not produce enough for ourselves , and cannot produce for the world.
“We must take active steps to multiply our productive output, particularly in those areas that support foreign exchange earnings and enhance livelihoods,” he said.
He called for effective steps to address all areas of waste, leakage, theft and graft, adding that gas flaring must stop.
“Only a nation that does not take itself seriously will cry out year after year for power but continue to fritter away a resource that can deliver that power.
“We must think through ingenious ways of fixing and strengthening our institutions; paying particular attention to our civil service and judiciary, and changing the attitude and temperament of those who work in those institutions,” he said.
He also urged the government to tackle national security issues with renewed vigour.
“A prosperous Nigeria cannot be created without decisively dealing with our security problems nan”