World Bank, NCCN prepare report on states’ economic viability
The World Bank and the National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria have developed the Sub-national Competitive Index on making states in the country economically stable and without dependence on federal allocations.
The Ford Foundation and Tony Elumelu Foundation were also involved in the development of the report, which will be unveiled in Lagos today (Thursday).
The Chief Executive Officer, NCCN, Chika Mordi, said the report was the product of a 20-month survey on how the states could be economically viable.
He stated that the survey was to set parameters for assessing the competitiveness of every state.
Mordi noted that the parameters had pillars and sub-pillars around macroeconomics, human capital, infrastructure, trade and around factors like settlement and enforcement, which cut across the states, including the Federal Capital Territory.
He stated, “We did one of the largest surveys you are going to see in this part of the world. We had 8,000- plus households, over 2,000 business surveys, and we had a response rate of 91 per cent.
“The ultimate goal is all about poverty reduction and we feel that competitiveness will drive job creation and inclusive growth, which reduces poverty. This is a more viable part than all revenues or standard government development plans.”
The Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Proshare Nigeria Limited, Olufemi Awoyemi, said prior to the discovery of crude oil, the regions were doing better and competing on the basis of resource utilisation.
“Nigeria lost a great opportunity when the oil prices dipped, but it now needs a clear economic ideology to anchor development from,” he stated.
He called for more investments in human capital development by the states, which he said was pivotal to the productivity of the nation.
The Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, BudgIT, Seun Onigbinde, said competitiveness had not been given top priority at the state level.
“The electoral cycle in the country has its effects on the policy framework of states, which has been more of short-term in the level of planning,” he said.
Onigbinde added that some of the challenges included poor fiscal management and lack of incentives to development.