Experts Brainstorm On Nigeria’s Economy At NES Confab By Otikor Samuel

As indicators continue to emerge to show that Nigeria is gradually coming out of recession, Economists and Social Scientists under the aegis of the Nigerian Economic Society (NES) in the South-South region, converged on the University of Port Harcourt to forge a sustainable pathway to full economic recovery.
With the theme: Growing the Nigerian Economy out of Recession, the conference was organised by the Department of Economics, Faculty of Social Sciences, in concert with the South-South region of the Nigerian Economic Society (NES).
Receiving the President of NES, Professor Tamunopriye Agiobenebo and other delegates on a courtesy visit before the opening ceremony at the Ebitimi Banigo Auditorium last Monday, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), Professor Regina Ogali, commended the Society for choosing the University for the talk shop. She also congratulated Professor Agiobenebo for emerging as President of the Society, expressing hope that his emergence would bring more attention to the University.
“This conference is very relevant at this point in time when the masses are yet to recover fully from the economic crunch in the country. We are happy to host the conference and it is our hope that at the end of your deliberation here, NES would come up with practical solutions that would cushion the sufferings of the ordinary people,” the Deputy Vice-Chancellor charged the delegates.
Also speaking, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Hakeem Fawehinmi, expressed optimism that the delegates would provide a functional road map that would assist policy-makers in formulating policies that would solve the country’s many economic problems.
Similarly, Chairman of the occasion, Professor Charles Oyegun and representative of the Vice-Chancellor at the opening ceremony, Professor Okey Onuchuku, also showered praises on the organisers for holding the maiden conference in the University. They expressed hope that Nigeria would grow beyond the present 0.5% index being touted by the Federal Government to become a stronger economy like the Asian Tigers.
In his keynote address, President of NES, Professor Agiobenebo, who identified economic challenge as very precarious to societal growth, stressed the need to put in place proactive measures to finally pull the economy out of recession.
“As has long been identified, economic recession is one of the most basic challenges confronting Nigeria today. These economic challenges snowball and manifest into different social, political, environmental and health complications that create tension and poverty in society,” the President noted.
Earlier in his welcome address, Chairman of the Local Organising Committee and Acting Head of the Department of Economics, Dr. Godly Otto, regretted that the Nigerian economy went into recession due largely to its dependence on other countries.
“As you may be aware, the Nigerian economy depends largely on the South-South region for sustenance. Any challenge affecting the South-South region could hurt the national economy in a fundamental way. For instance, the Nigerian economy shrunk from $568 billion in 2014 to about $405 billion in 2016, and the economy was in recession for the whole of 2016. This is against the background that many other economies were growing during the period under review,” he lamented.
Lead Speakers at the Conference were: Professors Willie Okowa, Edet Akpakpan, Peter Egbon and Ndem Ayara. 


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