Institutional Reformer Jonah Ubanmhen is inviting the public to express support for the Institutional Reform Act with a new hashtag #NigeriaSupportsIRA as a way of offering better opportunities for the society.
Jonah is actively taking the lead in the campaign for a legislation that will drive key reforms in major public institutions in Nigeria. According to Jonah, Nigeria’s institutions should be reformed first on the basis of the country’s developmental advantages and priorities and second, new and changing developmental challenges that the country is currently experiencing.
“It is obvious that Nigeria needs a Institutional overhaul to drive her capacity to transform her status to a developed state. This is especially important with the perspective of future governments. The mission of the campaign is to elaborate, within the next few months, concrete recommendations on how to strengthen Nigeria’s capacity to act, to protect it’s fundamental values and to strengthen her resilience, especially in light of the global economy uncertainty,” Jonah said.
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There has been demands for deeper reforms and accountability, giving authorities a fresh opportunity to steer a new way forward. However, for sustainable developments to take place, recognizing and addressing underlying factors that have contributed to our economic challenges is vital. Fundamental changes will be required to address the current challenges and to avoid repetition of the country’s economic failure in the past,” said Jonah
He stated that government will make the most of the opportunity to relentlessly implement key institutional reforms that promote ease of doing business and strengthen the resilience of the domestic economy to externally induced macroeconomic shocks.
The Jonah-strategy, is believed to be appropriate for this day as there appears to be a perceived lack of broad-based entrepreneurship, a shortage of capital that requires forced or semi-forced savings and a huge shortage of technological capacity.
Jonah recognises the value of this strategy for this time, particularly in building both technological and managerial capacity as well as and broadening the entrepreneurship base. But according to him, a major policy and institutional reform should be implemented.
In my view, he added, “the big institutional and policy reforms that we need are in areas which are outside the scope of the corporate sector regulatory system. We need major governance and policy changes in broadcasting, agriculture, micro and small enterprises, education, and major reforms in the organisation of government and the interface with public enterprises amongst others. In these areas some piece meal efforts have been made. But they do not constitute a fundamental change of approach. rather, he added, “it is time for bigger policy and institutional changes.”
There is also a recognition of the need for major changes and some basic reforms on the interface between the central government and the private sector and the capital market on which private sector growth depends.
Nigeria has grown beyond the stage where she needs to be cosseted. Its economy is now too complex and too outward-oriented to be managed centrally. Its people and enterprises are now too talented to be hand-held by public agencies. This is the agenda for policy and institutional reform that we need to pursue.
Nigeria’s institutions will have to evolve with more reliance on market mechanisms, rule of law, and less stringent national and subnational regulatory bodies.
In order for the country to step up another development ladder, it is urgent that the country reforms its key public institutions, better its capital, labour, and natural resources and build a clearer institutional anchor in areas that still lag behind in implementation performance.