Thought leaders, business executives brainstorm at CONita Conference

Posted by News Express | 7 July 2018 | 1,779 times

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•Some of the participants at the CONita Conference

Thought leaders and business executives recently gathered in Lagos under the auspices of the Conference of Nigeria Trade Associations (CONita) to lead the conversation on good governance inclusive growth and shared prosperity.

The Conference attracted diverse thought leaders in government, as well as service industry and business executives from the formal and informal sectors, all committed to tackling pressing challenges to inclusive growth, and proffering solutions for the actualisation of sustainable development goals in the country.

Themed ‘Harnessing the Power of Trade Associations for Good Governance, Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity’, the Conference held on June 27 at the LCCI Conference and Exhibition Centre, Alausa, Ikeja.

The conversation focused around some of the changes seen in today’s governance and leadership world such as challenging economic times, volatile world events, a deteriorating environment, a growing social divide and fast-changing technology. It highlighted that strategies to subdue these risks will be a huge factor in business survival.

Speakers at the one-day conference included some of the most influential people driving inclusive growth across Nigeria and the rest of the world.

Mr. Alex Nwuba, Managing Director, Smile Air, Nigeria – Ghana, Africa CEO of Palewater Advisory Group Inc, United States of America, dwelled on the power of trade associations in fostering good governance, inclusive growth and shared prosperity. He categorised Nigeria as a social market economy and x-rayed Article 21 of the United Nations 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states that “the will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government”. Nwuba also emphasised on the Lockean application of “We the People”. He presented compilations of models on good governance linked with the UN eight principles and focused on principle number 4: Equity and Inclusiveness.

Nwuba defined inclusive growth as “a concept that advances equitable opportunities for economic participants during economic growth with benefits incurred by every section of society beyond traditional economic growth models to include focus on the equity of: Health; Human capital to produce economic value; Environmental quality, Social protection, policies and programmes designed to reduce poverty and vulnerability, food security; tarry needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.”

He pointed that “the great challenge we have is that people who need to benefit from this inclusive growth and shared prosperity live in the communities where productivity is low, unemployment is high, jobs are not easy to come by and very insecure. They are many agrarian and therefore our policies need to reflect the status of these communities and address the needs of those people if we are to derive the concept of shared prosperity championed by the sustainable development goals.”

Bolanle Titilola, a sustainable development expert, spoke about the importance of a circular economy in building a resilient economic system. She compared it with a linear economy and identified the inherent opportunities for inclusive growth, shared prosperity and the driving force for good governance in a circular economy. 

Mr. Uade Ahimie, an author and Founder of Accounting Lab, started with the rules of epidemic guided by the law of the few, the stickiness factor and the power of context. He introduced a new culture called CRAPI FART as a perspective for the emerging market while stressing the need to create a platform where professional services such as legal, accounting services, etc, can be sourced with ease and at a cheaper rate; where small businesses especially the informal sector can be sourced. “This,” he said, “will in turn generate employment, inclusive economic growth, and more revenue to the government through simple tax collection system, hence shared prosperity for sustainable development are ensured.”

Feeding questions from the participants; Mr. Wale Thompson of the Lagos State Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment shared the ministry’s experiences with diverse artisans and trade associations from the local government domain to the zonal and state level. He noted that without wealth, there can be no employment.

Thompson noted that the size of Nigeria’s informal economy stands at 65% of GDP according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) statement in 2017. He pointed out that this number has since risen, which stresses the importance of sustainable development goal number 17; partnership for development, and the number one Aspiration of Africa 2063 Agenda; a prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development implemented at national level with a global focus.

Mr. Nelson Obine, the Convener of the Conference, thanked all the invited speakers, noting that they “demonstrated exceptional leadership traits in the domain of good governance; regulatory activities that has powered sustainable development.”

The conference featured powered learning sessions, visual content sharing with experts, peers and diverse industry.

Source: News Express

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