‘Nigeria Needs Leaders that Will Run its Economy as Quasi Business’  

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By Obinna Chima

Nigerians have been urged to choose leaders who will see the running of the country as quasi-business going forward.

The need to rise above the pedestrian mode of choosing leaders based on sentiments was also identified as the only way out of the under development that has beset the most populous country in sub-Saharan Africa for decades.

The Managing Director/ CEO, H. Pierson Associates Limited, Mrs. Eileen Shaiyen, who made the call in report obtained at the weekend, noted that leadership in Nigeria must be based on competence.

She explained: “Talking about competence, l mean a new world competence.   A leader has to be nominated based on the footprints of what he has done. Our economy, states are just too large to be used as experiments.  At all levels of leadership, we need a paradigm shift on how we see leadership.

“They must be leaders who have a global view and global standard. That requires deliverables and transformation. l think we need to have a fundamental shift on how we define good leadership and we need to also act very quickly.”

Speaking on efforts of government to diversify the economy of Nigeria, Shaiyen commended the policy trust of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration. She called on government to be committed to the execution of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), which she said was well articulated and focused.

“You will agree with me that it is very well focused, well articulated. But what we need is execution. In strategy, everything is about execution.

“As we go through to 2019, what we need is consistency in governance, and timeline for execution. If we begin to do that, you will begin to see the impact. But if you have major interjections that disrupt execution, you lose focus and the plans are disrupted”, she disclosed.

On growing the economy through the activities of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), Shaiyen said the only way to fast-track economic prosperity through the sector is to drastically bring down interest rate and create access to finance.

“I believe we need to step back and review our approach to the SME business. A lot of the SME business requires venture capital, private equity. It’s a different kind of money. It is not the traditional banking; the traditional money we find in our banking system doesn’t focus on this kind of business.”