SOCIAL MARKET ECONOMY - A TOOL FOR DEVELOPMENT
In her opening address, Mrs. Behrendt-Kigozi, the Country Director of KAS explained the history of social market economy in Germany and the success of the model in and for the German society.
In his keynote address titled “Social Market Economy- A Tool for Economic Development for Nigeria”, Obadiah Mailafia (DPhil Oxon) highlighted the key features of the social market economy, which include strong market economy, primacy of monetary policy, open and competitive market economy (absence of monopoly), respect for private property, sanctity of contracts, stability of economic policies, social justice, welfare system, as well as access to good education for everyone. Dr Mailafia also reiterated that the social market economy is suitable for Nigeria, because it provides a balance between state and market. At the end of his presentation, the resource person recommended the above mentioned features of the social market economy to Nigerian decision makers. He also recommended the transformation of small and medium enterprises (SME) as the backbone of the Nigerian economy, diversification of the economy as well as reaffirmation of the autonomy of the central bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The keynote was well received by the participants. A participant from FOPPEF Abuja observed that the tenets of social market economy could be taught at homes. She also admonished parents to teach their children the dignity of labour. Another participant from Radio Nigeria stated that civic education is paramount. In his view, it is central to rebuilding Nigeria and is also important for building strong small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The representative of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) recommended that school children should be targeted in promoting the tenets of social market economy. Another participant emphasized the role that technical oriented education could play in building a social market economy. The representative of Trade and Investment maintained that all Nigerians have a role to play. He also stated that the Government is providing the enabling environment for small and medium enterprises through the Bank of Industry.
In the second part of the workshop, Dr. Tunji Ogunyemi stated that while state welfarism is not alien to Nigeria, the Nigerian constitution however states that it is not justiciable. He thus concluded that we only need to work towards the justiciability of state welfarism. Rev. Fr. Uche Obodoechina traced in the third and last presentation of the day the roots of the social market economy to Catholic social teaching. After extensive discussions, the workshop came to an end with the closing remarks from the Country Director of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Abuja, Mrs. Hildegard Behrendt-Kigozi.