The Department of Economics and Development Studies, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi State, in collaboration with International Institute for Policy Review and Development Strategies, Calabar, Cross River state, has organized a 2-day National Conference themed: Advancing Sustainable Economic Development.
The conference which held at the Needs Assessment Building of the University was geared towards proffering solutions to the dwindling economy of the country, bearing in mind that economic development is a pathway to the future progress of Nigeria; taking into cognizance of the fact that the country is in search of workable programs, strategies and appropriate institutional mechanisms to improve the quality of life of Nigerians.
Declaring the conference open yesterday, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Professor Sunday Elom represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic, Professor Romanus Ejiaga eulogized the Department of Economics for sustaining one of the tenets of establishing a university – a strong research base.
He noted that in this era of sustainable revolution, Nigeria would be left behind if it does not adopt sustainable economic development, stating that for a balance in economic development, there is the need for responsible and environmental management.
The keynote speaker, and the Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences of the university, Professor Smart Otu, stated that the recognition of the versatility and multidimensional nature of the discipline of Economics, which embodies shared values, approaches and policies, drives the collaboration and partnership they have entered into with the International Institute for Policy Review and Development Strategies.
Professor Otu explained that sustainable development is an instant increase of welfare for all inhabitants, not compromising the welfare of others in the nearest future. Therefore, in order to satisfy the concept of sustainable development, the erudite scholar called for the best possible use of all available economic resources for the production of maximum possible output of goods.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Head, Department of Economics and Development Studies, Professor Kalu E Uma expressed delight on the maiden conference of their department, thanking the Vice-Chancellor for the approval.
He stated that the lineup of conference papers at the conference would ultimately enlighten participants on the need for sustainable economic development strategies in Nigeria as a panacea for repositioning and revamping the economy.
One of the keynote speakers, Professor, Francis O. Ozoh in a paper presentation titled “Distortive Factors Militating Rapid and Radical Economic Development in Nigeria” reiterated the challenges and obstacles towards economic development in the country as; Insecurity of lives and property, election irregularities, shortage of redesigned naira notes in circulation and cash crunch/cashless tendency, outright corruption and embezzlement through over inflated contacts etc.
He emphasized that developing countries must as a necessary condition damnify the backwardness in the non-economic institutional set up while pursuing the goal of economic growth with stability as the sufficient condition for the betterment of their socio-economic welfare and prosperity.
Also in his remarks, the Director, International Institute for Policy Review and Development Strategies Dr. Bassey Anam noted that the institute adopts a flexible approach towards improving the technical skills of local researchers to enhance international standards and best practices, hence their collaboration with the Department of Economics and Development Studies of the university.
The conference witnessed participants from various Nigerian Universities.