By Henry Uche, Lagos

To many people, the year 2021 came with high hopes having suffered unprecedented economic hardship in the proceeding year as a result of the global pandemic and other social unrest that bedevilled the country. However, to make life better for Nigerians going forward, management and administrative experts have lent their voices on what political and economic leaders must do if Nigerians must experience a better life in 2021 and beyond.

Speaking with the President/Chairman of Council, Chartered Institute Of Administrators (CIA), Samson Olapade, the year in view would be very difficult if the federal government continues in incessant borrowing and its reckless increase in recurrent expenditure. To him, maladministration and mismanagement remain an albatross to the wheels of Nigeria’s progress. According to him, Nigeria needs a viable and feasible economic blueprint designed by professionals across the board if Nigeria moves forward in the right direction forthwith.

He said, ‘if our resources are well managed, there won’t be a need for incessant borrowing, just look at Nigeria’s total loan stock hitting $84.574 billion, so an economy not well administered or well managed will slide into depression eventually, thus, the government must accommodate experts advise if Nigerians must get the best from this administration,” he affirmed.

To the Director-General/Chief Executive Officer, Institute Of Directors (IOD), Dele Alimi, rebuilding the shattered social contract between the government and the people is Paramount at this time.

According to him, ‘the trust and confidence the people had in their leaders have been thwarted. Remember what happened last year; the #ENDSARS, Palliative hijack and other Social unrest, all these made citizens lose hope in the government, so the need to redeem (I mean to gain back) this trust from the people should be government’s top priority now.

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‘Aside from that, prompt implementation of budgets is also a way forward for economic development. Delay in execution is dangerous. Nigeria needs actions, Yes! what is promised must be done and must be seen to have been done. We are optimistic this year, nevertheless, rebuilding this broken Social contracts through social security programmes and welfare programmes that would be easily accessible by the people is pivotal,’ he maintained.

For the President/Chairman of Council, Institute Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria, (ICSAN), Bode Ayeku, there is an urgent need for government (federal and states) and employers of labour to invest in their human capital resources in other to get the best of them. Not only does it spell progress for Nigeria and corporate organisations to utilize human resource prudently, investment in IT is a means to this end.

Ayeku said ‘it would be counter-productive to our economy for the government to just ask employees from the grade level below 12/14 to stay at home to curb the spread of COVID-19. Instead, the government and employers of labour should ensure efficient utilisation of these employees in 2021 and beyond. A massive investment in IT will in no small measure aid employees to work from home. Laptops, data and other resources should be provided to officers charged with the responsibility of interfacing with the private sector so that they can work from home, provide services and grant approvals during the period of restrictions, more so government must archive digitally and have an electronic portal for ease of doing business.’

According to the President/Chairman of Council, Chartered Institute Of Personnel Management (CIPM), Wale Adedira, official bullying, insecurity and excessive charges, levies and taxes imposed on the people on social services, are tantamount to jeopardising the country’s progress abysmally even as African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) kicks off.

According to him, it is time the APC-led administration closed ranks and engage professionals from across board to redeem the country from economic quagmire.

‘Only professionals that can deliver Nigeria from economic doldrum, not allies. Unfortunately, most politicians are not professionals in administration/leadership and management. So, Nigeria will remain in economic dungeon if the leaders continue to toy with people’s lives,’ he stated.