In the dynamic world of academia, where breakthroughs and accomplishments often remain concealed within the boundaries of research
papers, the recent conference held in Abuja, Nigeria, left an indelible mark on its participants, resounding with achievements that extended far beyond the typical conference experience.
The 64th Annual National Conference of The Nigerian Economic Society (NES) was held between the 10th and 12th of October 2023, with the central theme, “Building Resilience for Transformational Recovery” in Abuja, Nigeria.
In summary, 82 well-researched papers were presented, comprising the Plenary, Policy Round Table and Concurrent Sessions to address the critical issues around Building Resilience for Transformational Recovery. The plenary and policy roundtable sessions had 8 thought-provoking papers, while 76 papers were presented in 16 Concurrent Sessions at the Conference. The presentations and deliberations provided insights and thought-provoking issues to address several questions. Thus, several observations and actionable recommendations were put forward to reposition the Nigerian economy toward recovery and sustainable development.
On day one, upon our arrival in the bustling city of Abuja, the atmosphere was already charged with excitement. It was on this very first day that the unexpected occurred, transforming the event into an unforgettable journey. During the opening ceremony, the 64th award of the year was announced, a moment that would resonate deeply. This prestigious award signified the culmination of tireless efforts from scholars across Nigeria. Astonishingly, it was revealed that one of our very own Ph.D. students, who is a member of the ASMN, was crowned the overall best in the nation. The second prize was awarded to a scholar from OAU Ife and ABU Zaria. This recognition reinforced that the work we are doing at Covenant University had earned a significant place in the national spotlight.
On the second day, as the conference progressed, Prof Evans Osabuohien had the privilege to present his paper titled “The Partition of Firms in West African Value Chain from Nigeria and Ghana.” Dr. Dafe Oluwatosin, a co-author, and the paper, funded by African Economic Research, received an enthusiastic response from the audience. The involvement of our third editor, Dr. Karakara from Ghana, and Dr. Hassan, an esteemed member of ASMN based at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana, highlighted the collaborative and international essence of the event.
On the third day, the climax of this conference was the Annual General Meeting (AGM), an event that occurs once every two years. This was a moment of immense significance as ASMN members were called upon to take up roles within the organization. The highlight was my own election as an associate editor for the society, which was founded in 1967. This appointment was not only a personal honor but also a testament to the achievements of our academic community.
On day four, for the first time in my two decades of research work, I was entrusted with the responsibility of leading the Communication Committee. This newfound role signifies our commitment to fostering effective communication within the academic community. Working alongside my dedicated team, we consolidated the main findings from the 86 papers presented, both concurrent and otherwise. The significance of this role in my career cannot be understated; it is a profound honor to serve in this capacity.
In retrospect, this conference was not just another academic event; it was a stage for achievements and testimonials that will leave a lasting legacy. From the resounding success of my Ph.D. student to my election as a council member, the positive reception of our presentation, and my newfound role as chairman of the Communication Committee, the conference was a transformative experience. Moreover, connecting with aspiring mentees and witnessing numerous applications to join our journey was a heartening experience that underlined the impact we can have within our academic community.
This conference, in all its splendor, affirmed that unity, knowledge sharing, and recognition of one another’s achievements are the cornerstones of academic progress. It was not just one conference but a celebration of academic resilience and determination.
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