November 30, 2022

The Nigerian Economic Summit Group, NESG and the Nigerian Elections Debate Group, NEDG, have postponed the proposed presidential debate on economic policy.

IsL had earlier reported that the NESG/NEDG said it will host a presidential debate November 15, 2022, but due to prevailing circumstances, they opted to postpone the debate. However, a new date has not yet been officially communicated.

IsL source gathered that a statement by the Chief Executive Officer, NESG, Laoye Jaiyeola, in Abuja said, both the NESG and NEDG remained committed in providing platforms for such engagements in national interests.

The statement read: “The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) is convinced that debates are essential to the election process and are increasingly regarded as a tradition and the bedrock of a healthy democracy.

“They embody fundamental principles which ensure that the citizens are informed and actively involved in leadership choices and decision-making. At this critical time in our country’s history, it is now more important than ever to nudge Nigerians towards informed voting choices that result in transformational leaders with the knowledge and understanding of the issues that will steer our country toward shared economic prosperity.

“It was against this background that the NESG and the Nigerian Elections Debate Group (NEDG), in collaboration with the Broadcasting Organizations of Nigeria (BON), Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE), Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID), Enough is Enough (EiE), BudgIT as well as Radio, Television, Theatre and Arts Workers Union (RATTAWU) decided to facilitate a Presidential Debate on Economic Policy on Tuesday, November 15, 2022, at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja.

“It was envisaged that the debate would provide a unique platform and opportunity for presidential candidates to discuss their economic agenda in an environment of civil discourse.

“However, a critical assessment of events surrounding recent engagements with the presidential candidates, as well as subsequent statements from political parties, necessitates a review of our plans. In this regard, the Presidential Debate on Economic Policy will no longer take place as planned due to these prevailing circumstances. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this decision may cause our stakeholders and all Nigerians.

“As a non-partisan organisation with a mandate to foster the establishment of an economic foundation for democracy, the NESG will actively seek independent direct engagements with the candidates on critical economic policy reform issues and prescriptions.

“We envision a Nigeria where election debates are an integral part of the electoral process, and candidates are eager to engage citizens in discussions about their mandates, experience, ability, capacity, knowledge, and overall competence for the positions they seek. We remain committed to providing a platform for such engagements in the national interest.”

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