Buhari: Why Nigeria’s Economy Must Be Export-Driven

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President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed his desire to see Nigeria move from an import dependent economy to a hub of export of goods and services. Speaking yesterday at the 22nd Nigeria Economic Summit in Abuja, he said the Federal Government was already putting in place incentives that will improve ease of doing business in order to boost local production.

He said: “My greatest desire is that Nigeria moves from import dependent to self-sufficiency in local production and becomes an export led economy in goods and services.” According to the president, the summit, themed, “Made in Nigeria,” lies at the heart of so many efforts his administration is making to lead the country through troubled times and lay a firm foundation for the future.

“As I have said in the past, we need to diversify the economy so that we will never again have to rely on one commodity to survive as a country so that we can produce the food we eat, make our own textiles, produce most of the things we use and create the right environment for our young to be able to benefit and create jobs through technology.

“This has been the commitment and the mandate of this administration and I have remained focus on it since the assumption of this administration,” he noted. Buhari explained that there was clearly no better way to achieve diversification without building an economic foundation of made in Nigeria goods and services.

He said: “Fortunately, we have champions of made in Nigeria that have defied the odds over the years to produce locally and contribute to our economy. “I understand some of them will be discussing at this event to share their experience in your sessions. “The initiatives and incentives that will enhance your work are already being done by this administration.

I encourage more local production to improve our ease of doing business environment, transfer our technology and innovation capabilities, improve quality and standards, promote, export and change our old attitude and behaviour to made in Nigeria products and services.”

He expressed hope that the summit would bring all stakeholders on board to stay on course. The president told the organisers of the event that the Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, would be attending the key sessions of the summit. He also said he had instructed members of the cabinet to fully participate at his summit.

In his opening remarks, Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, said government was already on track of implementing policies aimed at getting the economy out of the current recession.

“These include, among other things, taking action to reduce the disruptions in the Niger Delta; fast tracking measures to raise funding from foreign loans and other sources to fund the 2016 capital budget, targeting capital releases to projects with impact on employment and speeding up the implementation of the social investment programmes etc. “Already, our focus on agriculture is beginning to yield fruit as indications are that the agriculture sector will show quite strong growth in the third quarter,” he said.

He added that after getting out of recession, “we will continue with the implementation of our Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP), which was launched by government at the time the 2016 Budget was signed into law by the president.

The plan will restructure our economy onto the path of sustainable growth.” On his part, the Chairman of the NESG, Mr. Kyari Bukar, said government and the private sector must jointly promote production and consumption of made in Nigeria goods and services while also maintaining a trade balance between imports and exports and recognising the realities of globalisation.

“This will reinvigorate moribund industries and services that have shown potential in the past and curtail the growing demand for foreign exchange for consumption rather than capital products and equipment,” Bukar said.

Also speaking, an economist and a member of Monetary Policy Committee of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Doyin Salami, said: “One area where I think the government is doing itself a bad service is that it doesn’t communicate well.

Government needs a comprehensive development plan.” Salami urged the government to ensure everything possible was done to boost the confidence of those who invest in the country. According to him, the current state of the Nigerian economy provides a platform for all stakeholders to move forward.

Source: New Telegraph

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