NESG cancels scheduled presidential debate on economic policy


The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) has canceled the presidential economic policy debate scheduled for next Tuesday in Abuja.

The private sector-led policy advocacy and think tank said the decision had become necessary after “a critical assessment of events surrounding recent engagements with presidential candidates, as well as subsequent statements by political parties”.

The debate was intended to provide a unique platform and opportunity for presidential candidates to discuss their economic agenda in a civil discourse environment. It was facilitated by the NESG and the Nigerian Elections Debate Group (NEDG), in collaboration with the Broadcasting Corporations of Nigeria, the Union of Journalists of Nigeria, the Editors Guild of Nigeria, the Center for Innovation and Journalism Development, Enough is Enough, BudgIT as well as the Radio, Television, Theater and Arts Workers Union.

However, the NESG said in a statement on Thursday that the debate “will no longer take place as planned due to current circumstances.”

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The group expressed their belief that debates are essential to the electoral process and are increasingly seen as a tradition and the foundation of a healthy democracy.

“They embody fundamental principles that ensure citizens are informed and actively involved in leadership choices and decision-making,” the NESG said in a statement signed by Laoye Jaiyeola, its chief executive.

“At this critical time in our country’s history, it is now more important than ever to push Nigerians towards informed voting choices that result in transformational leaders who know and understand the issues that will lead our country to economic prosperity. shared,” he said. .

The NESG said it was in this context that it decided to facilitate a presidential debate, alongside the NEDG, in collaboration with other concerned groups.

“We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this decision may cause our stakeholders and all Nigerians,” he said.

The NESG said that as a non-partisan organization with a mandate to help build an economic basis for democracy, it would “actively seek independent direct engagement with candidates on critical issues and prescriptions for political reform. economic policy”.

“We envision a Nigeria where electoral debates are an integral part of the electoral process, and candidates are keen to engage citizens in discussions about their mandates, experience, abilities, knowledge and general skills for the positions they they are looking for. We remain committed to providing a platform for such engagements in the national interest,” he said.

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