The Director-General/ Chief Executive Officer, Institute of Chartered Economists of Nigeria, (ICEN), Professor Christopher Balogun, has advised government to work in collaboration with the Institute so that it can solve the current economic quagmire bedeviling the country. He said this in his welcome address to members of the institute who attended the 38th ICEN’s mandatory induction programme/19th and 5th conferment of Professorial Fellowship Doctorate (PFD) as well as conference which was held at Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Ikeja, with the theme: the role of Professional Bodies in National Development- ICEN and ICAN in focus, recently.
In a key note address by Dr Eshiobo Sam Shola, the immediate past National president of the institute, he stated that the role of professional bodies in Nigeria is to train members to update their skills and knowledge for high professional standards and competence, sponsor researches that could be useful to the government and the people for policy making, among others. On his part, Dr. Peter Met, a resource person, lamented the rate of fraud in financial organizations and wondered why professionals such as theirs are not tackling it. He equally advised Economists to train themselves adequately in order to be abreast of the latest ways of delivering efficiency, productivity and others.
In the same vein, Dr. Valentine Felix , emphasized on the need for patriotism as a professional in order to achieve nation building. According to him, “self interest should be set aside when discharging your duty as a professional”. Felix frowned at Nigeria’s economic woes, saying that the size of our population, which is supposed to be an advantage, is relegated. He further said that our growth rate should be in the region of 14 percent and not 2.5 or so percent that we are currently having, that countries like Rwanda, Angola and South Africa with small population are having steady economic growth.
He stated our Nigeria economists should work closely with government so that it can tap from their skills in order to growing the economy. Furthermore, Dr. Felix requested that Nigerian economists must make their impact felt in the country.”The strategy of borrowing money to pay salaries instead of embarking on capital project is counterproductive”, Dr. Felix stated.
In the conference, an accounting expert, Dr Kenny Oteje, also explained that accountants should be carried along while making policies and budgets for the nation by government. He stated that their inputs would make a difference, saying due to their expertise in finance management, they could see some gray areas in an investment or award of contract, which may seem hidden to a lay man and advice on the way out.