Oct 2, 2010

Global Economic Meltdown and Attitudinal Change

Posted By Yiro Abari on August 5

The National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies Kuru in Jos Plateau State hosted a four-day workshop organized by the National Orientation Agency in collaboration with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) recently. The workshop which was titled “Global Economic Meltdown and Attitudinal Change” was meant to educate Nigerians administrators drawn from various government establishments across the nation on the causes of the global economic meltdown and on ways to minimize its effect on organizations within the country.

The significance of the workshop was underscored by the aptness of the topics chosen and the quality of the seven resource persons that delivered the seven papers during the workshop. By-and-large, the workshop observed that the cause of an economic crisis such as the one currently witnessed around the world could be as a result of weaknesses in the economic policies. It could also be as a result of failure of persons to adhere to the guidelines needed for impeccable implementation of an economic policy. It was concluded that the causes of the present crisis was a result of fiscal indiscipline by way of disregard to standard statutory procedures towards financial management resulting in the present global economic chaos that has affected income generation negatively resulting in shortfalls in budgets of many countries around the world including Nigeria.

A workshop drawing such resource persons could not be complete without suggesting ways of avoiding or minimizing the effect of the crisis to the nation. Details of the content and outcome of the workshop are contained in a communiqué issued at the end of what was a fierce intellectual exercise.

COMMUNIQUÉ ISSUED AT A 3-DAY NATIONAL WORKSHOP ON GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN AND ATTITUDINAL CHANGE HELD AT NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR POLICY AND STRATEGIC STUDIES (NIPSS), KURU, PLATEAU STATE, FROM JULY 27TH – 30TH, 2009

PREAMBLE

In keeping with its mandate of promoting value re-orientation, attitudinal change and national consciousness and aware of the strategic importance of attaining the 7-Point Agenda and Vision 2020 for the economic transformation of Nigeria, the National Orientation Agency (NOA), in collaboration with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Jos District, organized a 3-Day National Workshop on Global Economic Meltdown and Attitudinal Change from 27th – 30th July, 2009.

The workshop, which was held at the National Institute for Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Plateau State, was declared open by the Executive Governor of the State, His Excellency, Da Jonah David Jang, represented by Nde Samson Dimka, Secretary to the State Government. To set the tone for the workshop, Professor Sunny Tyoden, Vice Chancellor, University of Jos, represented by Professor Gray Goziem Ejikeme, Dean Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Jos, presented the keynote address, While Mr Toyin Adepate, Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria represented by Dr (Mrs) Jat Rauta Bitrus, Chairperson Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, Jos District, chaired the opening ceremony.

The Plateau State Executive Council was represented by the Commissioner for Education, Dr (Mrs) Angela Miri, Commissioner for Science and Technology, Mrs Rifkatu Durfa, Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr Gregory Nyelong, Commissioner of Women Affairs, Mrs Sarah Yusuf, Commissioner for Solid Minerals, Alhaji Ibrahim Saleh and Commissioner for Special Duties, Mr Daniel Ajik.

In attendance also were the Chairman Governing Board of the National Orientation Agency Alhaji Yusuf Yakubu, the Director-General, National Orientation Agency, Alhaji Idi Mohammed Farouk, the Acting Director-General, National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Dr Abubakar Sokoto, Members of Board, Executive Directors and Directors of the Agency. Other dignitaries included the Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO), Professor Celestine O.E. Onwuliri, the Rector, Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, Ondo State, Prof. O.P. Fapetu and Professor Mohammed Mainoma, Dean Faculty of Administration, Nassarawa State University. Other Participants at the workshop were Finance experts, Accountants, Bankers, Auditors, Administrators and other stakeholders.

OBJECTIVES:

The main aim of the workshop was to create awareness of the challenges of the current economic crises, proffer solutions that will assist managers of the economy, and establish parameters necessary for prudent management of public expenditure and budgetary discipline. Other specific objectives of the workshop were to:

 Sensitize finance administrators on the challenges posed by the global economic meltdown;

 Emphasize the need for prudence in public expenditure and management;

 Underscore the role of attitudinal re-orientation in the management of national economy;

 Emphasize the essence of value for money budget implementation; and

 Proffer solutions to role conflict and leakages in management of national economy.

PAPER PRESENTATIONS:

A total of seven (7) papers were presented at the workshop as follows.

 The Global Economic Meltdown and Attitudinal Change in Nigeria - Professor G. G. Ejikeme

 Global Financial Crises: Manifestations, Socio-Psychological Implications and Lessons in Nigeria – Prof. Etannibi Alemika.

 Statutory Provisions for Effective Finance Management and Productivity – Paul M. Bdiya, PhD.

 E-Payment Policy: The Advantages and Challenges- Ibrahim H. Dankwambo.

 The Place of Values and Attitudes in Revenue Generation, Budget Implementation and Monitoring for National Development – Barr. Amos Madaki.

 Transparency, Accountability and Value for Money Audit Towards Good Governance – Toyin Popoola

 Prevention of Leakages and Role Conflict Through Effective Separation of Power in Budget Implementation and Monitoring – Prof. Shedrach Best

OBSERVATIONS

After frank and exhaustive deliberations, the workshop noted and observed as follows:

1. That the current global economic meltdown is a reality which has clearly manifested in the areas of drastic reductions in oil revenue, exchange rate depreciation and sharp decline in foreign reserve, foreign direct investment and values of stocks.

2. That the failure of the financial system in the United States of America (USA) and other European countries which led to the current economic crises, is an indication that there is no one economic model that is perfect. This therefore calls to question the wisdom in the wholesome adoption of such western economic models by developing countries, including Nigeria.

3. That corruption and fiscal indiscipline are some of the major causes of the current global economic meltdown. Accordingly, the workshop condemned all acts of corruption and fiscal irresponsibility that impinge adversely on the national economy. The workshop further condemned the heroic applause given to those who have stolen billions and millions of naira from the national treasury.

4. That in dealing with the issue of the global economic meltdown, policy makers should not only address the finance side of it, but also consider the socio-political and infrastructural dimensions. This is because sound economic policies cannot be effective without the support of infrastructure and appropriate socio-political framework.

5. That the critical importance of attitude and value re-orientation in dealing with the issues of the global economic meltdown should be taken seriously because the desire to effect a change in the financial crises must be practically demonstrated in the behaviour of the people, particularly the leadership

6. That national response to the current global economic crises differs from country to country. This is because countries of the world have different levels of scientific and technological development, different attitudes and behavioural patterns.

7. That negative attitude towards public resources could jeopardize the efforts of finance administrators and managers of our national economy. Thus, there is need to ingrain in accounting professionals the philosophy and culture of professional ethics as the foundation of business practices.

8. That the current amnesty initiative of the federal government should be commended as a right step in the right direction in bringing about peace and security in the Niger Delta Region and Nigeria at large.

9. That the penchant for foreign products by Nigerians and heavy dependence of the economy on import has further aggravated the impact of the financial crises on the Nigerian economy.

10. That there is persistent violation of rules and regulations thereby making it impossible for our system to work

RECOMMENDATIONS

1 That the economic crises besetting the nation call for concerted efforts by the three tiers of government and the civil society to, as a matter of urgency, adopt a well coordinated and pragmatic attitudinal change.

2 That the various institutions set up by legislation should be allowed to operate unfettered at all levels of governance. These institutions should also be adequately empowered and supported to fight corruption decisively and holistically.

3 That the on-going public enlightenment, advocacy and mobilization of Nigerians to shun social vices such as corruption, indiscipline and other related misdemeanors should be sustained.

4 That the productivity of each preceding year should be assessed as basis for considering the appropriation and other fiscal measures for the succeeding year.

5 That a well-structured e-payment regime, with regulatory provisions for curbing e-crime and ensuring a comprehensive interconnectivity among all the banks should be put in place.

6 That the stimulus package announced for the textile industries in 2007 should be implemented and similar gestures extended to the collapsed capital market and other ailing sectors of the nation economy without further delay. This will reduce the attendant social and psychological problems prevalent in the country today

7 That the energy sector should be genuinely classified as an emergency and experts assembled to work out realistic and plausible energy solutions at ‘regional’ and national levels. This will save the country from further capital flights and stimulate economic growth and development.

8 That Nigerians should be encouraged to elect leaders that are proactive, focused, visionary, innovative and transformational to achieve rapid economic well being, technological advancement, functional health care delivery system and a stable socio-political culture as encapsulated in the 7-Point Agenda.

9 That all Nigerians should appreciate the reality of the economic meltdown and therefore work towards mitigating its effects through modest life styles, prudent management of public and individual resources, transparency and fiscal discipline.

10 That Nigeria as a country should be more innovative in developing economic models that take cognizance of her culture, values, resource endowments, socio-political framework and infrastructure.

11 That Nigerians, more than ever before, should begin to question and reject those who steal public funds rather than praise and eulogize them, and that in fighting corruption they should consider it a patriotic responsibility to expose corruption and corrupt Nigerians.

12 That efforts should be made to diversify the Nigerian economy in the non-oil sectors, and improve the productive capacity of the nation.

13 That in the spirit of the rule of law, all Nigerians and institutions are enjoined to adhere strictly to due process in the transaction of government business, and where there are willful violations appropriate sanctions should be meted out to serve as deterrent.

14 That there should be a sustained awareness and reorientation to encourage Nigerians to patronize locally produced goods. This will propel growth of the manufacturing sector and enhance the nation’s productive capacity.

15 That the National Orientation Agency should establish a platform for networking and synergy with relevant financial institutions in restoring public confidence in the capital market given its strategic importance in any economic recovery effort.

CONCLUSION

The workshop participants, the National Orientation Agency and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, Jos District, expressed their profound gratitude and appreciation to the government and good people of Plateau State and the management of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, for their warm reception and hospitality.

COMMUNIQUÉ COMMITTEE.

1. Prof. O.P. Fapetu Chairman

2. Prof. Mohammed Mainoma Member

3. Mr David M. Dogo “

4. Mr Musa Chantu “

5. Mr Vincent Mwankwon “

6. Mr Isaac M. Onukwube Secretary

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