In an exclusive chat, Dipo Famakinwa, Director General of the commission said the region has to leverage innovation in the various sectors of the economy to achieve development.
“We are looking at how we can leverage innovation for the development of the region,” he said.
He added: “Education is also important, rebuilding the education of the region and focusing it around quality and also ensuring that those who come out of the education of the region are those who can manage this progressive ambition that we have on a progressive basis.
“Ensuring security, law and order are also very important; we also think one of the low hanging areas for us is agriculture. That is one area we can quickly focus on.
To achieve these goals, he said the commission is partnering with organizations from across the world.
“Our economic competitiveness also is anchored on building partnerships across the world. There are so many things we cannot do on our own and we have to find help. We are also looking at a structured process through which we can harness and take advantage of such partnerships,” Famakinwa said.
He added: “We can’t jump from one place to another; we must be sure that the kinds of partnership we are forging are relevant to our development orientation, and also relevant to the kinds of ambitions that we’ve set for ourselves. In other words, they must be partnerships that work.”
He noted that all the pillars that the commission is focusing on are interconnected.
“They are all linked together. If you talk about economic competitiveness, you cannot achieve it without having a well developed infrastructure; you cannot achieve it without being able to provide quality education and health services,” he said.
“You can’t achieve it by not ensuring that there is security in the land. They are all related and interconnected. They are deliberate strategic pillars that we must develop at the same time in achieving goals that we have set for ourselves.
“If we do not achieve economic competitiveness in a manner that you can boost your ability to finance your development for instance, you can’t build infrastructure nor develop education.”