The Former Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service(FIRS) Ms. Ifueko Omoigui-Okauru has urged the incoming administration to focus on policies that would stimulate economic growth in the country.
Furthermore, she urged the incoming administration to create an enabling environment that would foster the private sector to thrive which would also help reduce unemployment.
She said this on the sidelines of the Harvard Kennedy School Alumni Association of Nigeria (HKSAAN), dinner where the association hosted 64 students from 24 countries on the Africa Policy trek.
Also, Nigeria for the first time hosted the ‘Harvard trek’ which provides an opportunity for students whose backgrounds are in public policy and government administration to interact, learn and understand policies in countries they visit.
On the advice to the incoming administration, Okauru said: “The economy is at the heart of propelling a better quality of life for every Nigerian. Whatever we do must translate to a higher level of disposable income for everyone to live at the very minimum a decent life.
“So, if we do not focus on growing the economy, providing jobs, and ensuring that whatever we do truly translates, we’re not just discussing at a higher growth level, but truly translates to testimonials of the common man.
“Government can be such a huge enabler; government should build an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive. I say these things and I hesitate to say them because every time a government comes in, that is what we want. But it’s still what we want, and therefore, the appeal is to actually do it and give hope.”
Speaking further, she said: “Unfortunately, the elections have further divided us and it’s important that we really calibrate because a divided country cannot achieve as much as it could do when it comes together.”
Also speaking on the trek initiative, she said: “The Harvard Kennedy School is a public policy, government intervention part of the Harvard University. So, all it does is really help build those people that will go back to their various countries and influence public policy and drive government in a manner that will position countries at a much higher level.
“So, in this room, you have people who are likely to influence and sit on organisations that do business with Nigeria, sit in government offices and parastatals that will work at a government-to-government level.”
Also speaking on the sidelines of the event, the President Harvard Kennedy School Alumni Association of Nigeria (HKSAAN) Adaora Ugwu said: “About 64 students and faculty of the Harvard Kennedy School from Cambridge have come to Nigeria on what they call an Africa policy trek.
“On this trek, they’ve done Nigeria and Ghana and usually on these treks they come to find out about the country, talk to the public and private sector, they want to understand governance policy and culture. So they visited Accra first and then they are now in Nigeria.”
Ugwu further added: “This is an opportunity to showcase Nigeria at a very critical time in our country’s history when we are in between the presidential elections which happened a couple of weeks ago, and the gubernatorial elections.
“So as a policy school like the Harvard Kennedy School is, we thought it was an opportunity to come and experience on the ground, issues that concern Nigeria, around economics, politics, social and cultural issues. And I think that we’ll be experiencing that and talking to different people for the rest of the part of their trek.”
Source: ThisDay Newspaper