*Elumelu, Dangote, others honoured with productivity awards
By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the country’s economy is on sustained path of growth since exiting recession.
The president’s cheering statement came just as the federal government Thursday honoured 32 prominent Nigerians, including Alhaji Aliko Dangote and Tony Elumelu with national productivity merit awards at an impressive ceremony in Abuja.
President Buhari said one of the positive signs of progress in our economy was the recent 131 ranking on the World Bank’s 2020 Doing Business Index by moving up 15 places from the 2018 position of 146.
The president used the opportunity to ask state governments to intensify efforts to instill improved fiscal transparency and accountability in order to ensure optimum use of our very scarce resources.
President Buhari whose speech was read at the 18 edition of the National Productivity Merit Award investiture ceremony held in Abuja on Thursday, by the Secretary to Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, also said that the country’s journey to food security and self-sufficiency is well underway.
He said: “Our economic diversitication programmes are yielding positive results. Our ease of doing business policies and programmes are already impacting Micro, Small and enterprises as well as manufacturing, mining and agriculture, among other key sectors.
We are now ranked 131 on the World Bank’s 2020 Doing Business Index by moving up 15 places from the 2018 position of 146.
“We have made outstanding progress in almost all segments of the agriculture value chain, Consequently, tens of thousands of jobs in agriculture, logistics, manutacturing and real sectors are being created. We shall sustain these policies to ensure additional investments are channeled, thereby creating more jobs in the sector”.
President Buhari added that the focus of his administration is to consolidate on the achievements made in the last four years “by intensifying efforts on security, restructuring the economy and fighting corruption, correcting the lapses made, tackling emerging challenges facing the country and taking bold steps in transtorming our country and setting her on a sound and sustainable path to an enviable height”.
He said that the administration have since its re-election in March this year, been mapping out new strategies aimed at fostering unity and at the same time liberating the bulk of our citizens from the shackles of poverty.
According to the president, the major cause of inequality and insecurity in the country is pervasive corruption.
He enjoined Nigerians, to collectively resolve to fight and expose corruption and the corrupt, maintaining it is by so doing that we can foster a broad-based prosperity required to create a country that is not only for a few privileged, but caters for all Nigerians.
Speaking at the award ceremony, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, said the annual award of honour was bestowed on individuals and organizations that stood out in creativity, innovation, high performance, efficiency, discipline, patriotism and have also contributed in outstanding ways to national growth and development.
Ngige explained that since the inception of the award in 1991, a total of 333 individuals and 84 organizations had benefited from this award.
He said that 25 Individuals and seven organizations that had proved themselves worthy of this award were bestored with this year’s national productivity honour.
Among the award winners are, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali, Chief Richard Onwuka, Deputy Corps Marshall Ojeme Ewi-Irudiakpor, Aishatu Abubakar, Prof. Adesola Olatunde Adepoju, Hajia Vivian Idama, Georgina Ekeoma Ehuriah, Prof. Hussaini Doko Ibrahim.
Other organisations include, Vintage Farms and Products, Dufil Prima Foods Plc. Dozzy Oil and Gas, Krisoral Group, Kpakpando Foundation for People With Disabilities and Reynold Construction Company (RCC)