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Nigeria Country Dialogue 2004

May 6, 2004

African Institute for Applied Economics (AIAE)   Enegu, Nigeria

Agenda  152kb pdf
Meeting Report  134kb pdf

In May 2004, IPD participated in a series of discussions in Lagos and Abuja in order to follow-up on steps undertaken after the first Nigeria Country Dialogue in 2002, and to consider the challenges the country faces today. The IPD team, consisting of Professor Joseph Stiglitz, President of IPD, and Akbar Noman, IPD Senior Policy Fellow, met with representatives from various civil society organizations, government officials, members of the National Assembly, business leaders, academics, NGOs and other foreign donors.

These diverse groups came together during the visit in two large public forums and five separate meetings. The first public forum in Lagos had an attendance of about 300 people while the participation in the second forum in Abuja exceeded 400 people. The dialogues received extensive media coverage as well.
 

Partners

As part of the Dialogue, IPD brought up issues of financial accountability, decentralization, oil revenue spending and savings, macroeconomic imbalances and agricultural growth to the forefront of discussion. Transparency is a key issue in Nigeria. Nigeria has historically been plagued by corruption, resulting in lost revenues and a lack of public trust. Given this history, the public forums have been extremely valuable in enlarging the number of stakeholders active in the discussion.

Participants also debated ways to reach Nigeria's goals of improved governance, reduced fiscal debt, and increased effectiveness of public spending, along with development of private businesses and human capital. The discussion centered on the issue of achieving an effective exchange rate and surviving the "resource curse" Nigeria has fallen victim to, with its increasing poverty, high unemployment, and strong effects of oil price changes. Saving oil revenue to invest in infrastructure and human capital was also highlighted as a policy option.

As Nigeria grapples with policy decisions and widens the participation of decision makers, IPD has and will continue discussions with our partner organization, AIAE, and the government of Nigeria on best practices, lessons learned and policy alternatives.

  • Hans Binswanger
    Other
    Sector Director for Rurual Development and Environment, Africa Region
    The World Bank
  • Biobele da Wariboko
    Speaker
    Journalist
  • Karen Matusic
    Journalist
    Spokeswoman
    Exxon-Mobil
  • Akbar Noman
    Speaker
    Senior Policy Fellow
    Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD)
  • Jenik Radon
    Speaker
    Adjunct Professor
    School of International and Public Affairs
    Columbia University
  • Hamid Rashid
    Speaker
    Senior Advisor on Legal Empowerment
    United Nations Development Programme
  • Joseph Stiglitz
    Speaker
    Co-President
    Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD)