…Gets new devt plan for Next Level
…Says successful economy impacts on the majority
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, said the Federal Government will consider working with the private sector to tackle security challenges in the country.
The president also disclosed that the government will consider the development proposal from experts presented at the just concluded Presidential Policy Retreat at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
In his closing remarks at the retreat, Buhari also said a successful economy was one which impact was felt by the majority.
He said: “As we come to the end of this Presidential Policy Dialogue Session, the key proposals made by the experts are for the Federal Government to consider the following strategic initiatives over the next four years:
“Address our security challenges by working in collaboration with the private sector; fix the power sector by addressing some of the regulatory uncertainties and operational shortcomings of the key players.
“Drive efficiency in public service delivery through realignment of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, and implementation of e-governance solutions.
“Stimulate significant investments in the industrialisation of agriculture; develop policies that will facilitate private sector participation in infrastructure projects.
“Introduce policies and regulatory changes that will unlock growth potentials in the petroleum sector – both upstream and downstream;
“Aggressively improve the ease of doing business by reducing bureaucracy and improving inter-agency collaboration; providing incentives for investors especially in agriculture and power sectors;
“Facilitate the construction of mass and affordable housing to propel economic growth and reduce the massive housing deficit;
“Launch of a consumer credit scheme with the banking sector for citizens to have access to long term and affordable mortgages and consumer credit.”
He said the proposals will be presented to the incoming ministers still undergoing screening at the National Assembly.
He said: “God willing, the proposals from this session will be discussed and finalised with them in the coming weeks as they take their portfolios.
“Although most of the proposals were targeted at the Federal Government, I also want to remind the state governors to do their part, especially in the areas of education and health care, which are within their constitutional responsibilities.
“Our collective goal is to implement initiatives that will lift our citizens out of poverty through mass employment and social safety nets.
“This is achievable with the right fundamentals in place. We must all keep in mind that a successful economy is one where prosperity is felt by the majority.”
Buhari thanked members of All Progressives Congress, development partners, captains of industry and private sector representatives, industry experts, and all the other speakers and panel members at the retreat.
He said the retreat gave him hope that his administration will surely leave a better Nigeria for future generations to come.
“During these two days, several case studies were presented on how different countries successfully addressed various issues confronting them.
“What was very obvious is that the journey for each country was different. A good example is on infrastructure development. The path adopted by Ethiopia is from my understanding, the complete opposite of Brazil.
“This is also the same when it comes to agriculture, where Brazil adopted large scale mechanised agriculture while Ethiopia took the out-grower and contract farming model.
“The same can be said when you compare the oil and gas policies of Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United States as shown in one of the presentations.
“Like my brother, the former Prime Minister of Ethiopia mentioned, the only right answer is the one tailored to your specific needs. This means as we benchmark Nigeria against other countries, we must not lose sight of the laws, regulations, geography, culture, history and many other factors that make us Nigerians.
“Some of you may remember me saying some years back that what we need are “made in Nigeria solutions for our uniquely Nigerian problems.’’
“On infrastructure, through the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund, we are investing in strategic projects across the country such as the Second Niger Bridge, Lagos Ibadan Express Way and the Abuja – Kaduna – Kano highway. As you can see, in Agriculture, Government was just an enabler.
“We linked the farmers to input suppliers and off-takers while providing extension services. In infrastructure development, we decided to build the roads ourselves for now.
“As a nation, the limited experience we have on road concessions have not been very positive. But that said, we will continue to explore,” he said.