Economic Reforms: Tinubu Begins Broad Consultations

Economic Reforms: Tinubu Begins Broad Consultations

*Sets up tripartite advisory committee 

*Meets private sector leaders, governors

Deji Elumoye in Abuja

Challenged by the stark reality of the current state of the nation, President Bola Tinubu, yesterday, began broad consultations on the troubled economy, with a view to urgently fix things.

The president, who met with private sectors leaders and some governors as a result, immediately set up a Tripartite Economic Advisory Committee with a declaration that his government might though not have the answers to the nation’s problems, it couldn’t be blamed for not trying.

At the meeting held at the State House, Abuja, the president disclosed that Nigeria’s economy was on the verge of recovery for the benefit of downtrodden citizenry, and pledged his government’s commitment towards fashioning out the best economic policy for the nation.
A list of critical stakeholders invited to the meeting with the President obtained by THISDAY,  included Aliko Dangote, Femi Otedola, Amina Maina (VP NESG), Boye Olusanya (Flour Mills), Segun Ajayi-Kadir (DG MAN), Tony Elumelu, Bismarck Rewane, and Samala Zubairu (AFC).

Others were Innocent Chukwuma (Innoson), Jubril Adewale Tinubu, Governor Soludo of Anambra State, Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, CBN Governor, Olayemi Cardoso, Kola Adeshina, Abdulkabir Aliu and Abdul Samad Rabiu (BUA)
In his opening remarks, Tinubu said, “We are not saying that we have all the answers. But we will not be blamed for not trying. We assure Nigerians that we will do our best to get our Marshall plan in place and fashion out the best economic future for this country
“We’re looking for additional efforts that might help the downtrodden Nigerians and we will provide that hope and reassurance that economic recovery is on its way.

“Let’s look at what we’re doing right and what we’re doing wrong to bring life back to the economy. Like I said, many times, the people of this country are only the people who we have to please.
“And we are very much concerned from students to mothers and fathers, farmers, the traders and realising that everyone of us will have to fetch water from the same well.”
However, speaking with newsmen after the closed-door meeting with the President, President  of Dangote Group of Companies, Aliko Dangote, said, “I think we had a very, very good meeting and what we discussed is generally about the economy, food security and security of the nation.

“We discussed everything in detail. And there is the economic presidential Advisory Committee, which has been set up and I think this will look at all the issues and address them, coming from job creation, food security, coming from also reflected the economy.
“So, all these things that have been discussed in detail. I can’t give you all the details right now, but we are hopeful and we’re a great nation. We have what it takes to turn around the economy and we’re going to do that.”

On his part, Chairman of BUA Cement,  Abdulsamad Rabiu,  said, “some of the issues we discussed, for example, like the foreign exchange rate, which we know has always been the problem for the past two or three months.
“We discussed on how to bring the foreign exchange rate down because we all know that what is happening as regards the foreign exchange is artificial, it is manipulative and thank God the CBN is doing quite a lot.

“Now, the exchange rate has come down from N1800 to maybe 1600 and N1500 now, and as you all know, everything in Nigeria is indexed to the foreign exchange, especially when it comes to stuff that we import into the country.”
Also speaking, Chairman of Heirs Group, Tony Elumelu, told newsmen that, “I left this meeting with a lot of enthusiasm, excitement and optimism about the future of our country.
“I believe that implementing the decisions we arrived at today will have propel our economy and help alleviate the poverty in the land, help create employment and help put food on table.”

Anambra State Governor, Charles Soludo, also told newsmen that, “It’s a tripartite meeting designed to put heads together and think together.
“We have one national economy, and it’s the responsibility of the 225 million Nigerians to work together to make it great and we have all the potential and we have all that it takes to make Nigeria ride through these turbulent times and put the economy back on a sustainable keel.
“I think there is unity of purpose, determination, the sense of patriotism and determination by all to make it happen and by the special grace of God, it’s now the execution, execution execution.

“And this is a standing committee that will be meeting from time to time to evaluate how things are going and make recommendations to Mr. President and to the nation as well.”
Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, said, “As a governor, I can assure you that all hands are on deck. All governors have resolved to join hands with Mr president to ensure that he provides the necessary intervention to cushion the effect of what we’re going through, whilst we are waiting for the implementation and the evidence of the fiscal and monetary policies that are already in place.

“So the teeming public should have that confidence that we’re not leaving them alone. In my state and in other states, we are bringing in rice, we’re bringing food items and we’re selling at rates that can be obtained before the downslide of the naira. So, we are going to be doing all those kinds of things to bring succour to the common man until when you begin to see the evidence of the fiscal and monetary policies.”
Director-General of the Manufacturers Association of  Nigeria (MAN), Seguñ Ajayi-Kadir, also said, “I think the private sector is looking forward to the implementation of most of the decisions that we have made with the president.

“Manufacturers are looking forward to an environment that is conducive to business. And so the issues surrounding foreign exchange, insecurity and general operating environment were discussed and we received the assurances of Mr. President that very soon we are going to start to see some major changes.
“And I think the advisory committee that has been formed, the private sector will play a very significant role, and Nigerians, going forward should be hopeful that we are having solutions to the challenges that we have.”

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