With the paradigm shift in the global economy due to the presence of COVID-19, government and businesses are shifting from their conventional ways of operation and adopting new methodology — with the current economic reality so as to sustain in the competitive global economy.
There is need for us to organize our economy with “sincerity of purpose for true economic sustainability”.
Purpose overtime has been misconstrued by people due to lack of understanding, in its broadest sense it simply means an aim that is intended to achieve — meaning purpose is a mechanism that can be used to achieve short, medium and long-term economic plans if properly understood.
Due to lack of understanding, people put profit before purpose which has created a setback and made our case worst, purpose in its real sense, can create a sense of focus, intrinsic motivation and a clear direction- thus demonstrating it is more than a zero-sum game.
Sustainability over the years has shown to be of great concerns to economies of the world and global corporations — if we do not sustain properly, meaning — we are not sure of tomorrow under our control — due to its significance, it has become a strategic and operational issue for economies and not just an issue of compliance alone; however, countries like Brazil, USA and Japan etc. have been able to design systems and processes overtime to treat sustainability as a core component under governance.
However, as a nation we have not been able to see it from that context hence our setbacks — but this is not to say we have completely lost it and we can no longer see a silver lining, in economic management and development, there is always room for opportunities and improvements, meaning—a silver lining can still emerge, therefore building back better is possible but must be a shared ambition and objective not just a “slogan”
Presently, China as a nation has done very well with a formed growth trajectory in economic management with its over 1.4 billion population and this has placed its economy to be part of the BRICS economy which are currently the emerging economies in the world; China did this with its large population, meaning our case is mere, because our current population is still under control, which implies if we take proactive measures now in organizing our economy— we can have a hand feel of the “hidden Gold” in our country.
First, to organize now must be a collective responsibility not just Government alone, we all must learn to understand values, purpose, leadership and Governance on a broader perspective, because our fundamental issue is the loss of values in our society, if this is gotten right, we are certain to get purpose, governance and leadership right because values are embedded in personality.
Second, government must prioritize and ensure a workable constitution that is sustainable is put in place for all.
Third, government must adopt new methodology that is realistic, resilient and result oriented that aligns with sustainable development goals (SDG) 2030.
Fourth, Government must prioritize Trade, production, innovation, regulation, legislation, implementation, sustainability, climate change, compliance, standards, workable policies, finance support for MSME and SME as these are key drivers to economic growth.
Using Trade as an example to economic growth, is a recent research carried out by HSBC in partnership with BCG consulting on global Trade, its report estimates that if we choose to embrace an open and a fair trading system the world stands to get an increase of 10 trillion dollars of GDP growth by 2025 which is additional 2 percent compound annual growth rate of GDP until 2025. (Mack Tucker)
Fifth, government must give 15% rule of time to civil servants in MDA on a daily basis to brainstorm and come out with creative and innovative ideas that would drive their ministry, department and agency forward and generate new streams of income into government coffers and sustain itself.
Sixth, government must reduce its high cost of governance in the three tiers of government.
Seventh, religious leaders must lead by examples and ensure they preach values and purpose to their members.
Eight, government must work with development banks in partnership with the private sector and make policy choices that would address our existential challenges on infrastructure.
Ninth, private sector players must engage more in corporate social responsibility (CSR) and ensure they create better and sustainable welfare scheme for their employees.
Tenth, government must maintain existing infrastructure and build newer ones to global best standards added to what is on ground.
From what we have heard, it is obvious that values, purpose, leadership and Governance are inextricably linked to sustainability, therefore they should not be undermined at every given time — and our own economy was already challenged even before COVID-19 struck, but if we pull through by pulling together, implementing the imperatives listed, we are certain to get exponential growth in our GDP in the medium-term which is 3-5 years.
It is worthy to note that prior to the initiation of economic reforms 40 years ago, China kept policies that made its economy poor, stagnant, inefficient, isolated from the global economy. Since its opening up to foreign Trade and investment and implementing free market reforms in 1979 China has been among the world’s fastest growing economies with real annual GDP growth averaging 9.5% through 2018 a pace described by the world Bank as the fastest sustained expansion by a major economy in history, such growth made China to double its GDP every eight years and helped raise an estimated 800 million people out of poverty and today China has become one of the world’s largest economy.
Mr Ufuoma Ubiebor is a management consultant.