• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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Buhari promises to carry business along in creating better Nigeria

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Muhammadu Buhari, retired Army General and  presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) party, on Monday said if elected to power, come the February elections, his government would meet frequently with the business community with a view to feeling its pulse and creating a more enabling environment for the enrichment of the society and creation of jobs.

Buhari said that government cannot know everything because it has its specific functions and that his government would take impulses from business and larger society to facilitate the  overall well being of the nation.

Buhari said he is in agreement with the privatisation of the power sector but added that the process would be incomplete if power was privatised and transmission was left out. For this reason, he said, his government would go further to privatise the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) under the privatisation of the power sector for energising the economy, if elected.

He further added that his administration would support the establishment and operation of private refineries in Lagos.

Buhari, who met with the private sector in Lagos on Monday, said his government would take practical steps to strengthen Nigeria’s economy and ensure that Nigerians get value for their money and time.

He said his administration would explore options with businesses, aimed at reducing taxes for ease of doing business.

“Our change is going to be positive”, he said, adding that the idea of change would not be total, as projects undertaken by the present government, which are beneficial to the citizens, would be retained.

“We agree with the privatisation of the power utilities but we believe it must go further to transmission.

“After the signing and hand-over ceremonies of the power assets, the real work of producing, transmitting and distributing power is really just beginning.

“The reason why the success seems elusive is that apart from the signing ceremony and handing over of the power assets, the hard work to connect the various parts of the power chain, supply gas, install transformers, complete substations has not been done.

“Studies show that we will require no less than 200,000 trained personnel to support the initiative to provide power and light up Nigeria.

“Apart from the inherent direct employment that this will bring, the reduction in cost of production, it would also reduce the burden of Nigerians who spend a lot to generate their electricity,” he said.

The APC flagbearer said that he would design economic policies tailored toward promoting the country’s prosperity and creating jobs, with inputs from the private sector anchored on regular interactions.

“Our economic plans will be practical and our policies for implementing our commitments will be governed by the highest consideration of how they create jobs,” he said.

He said that he would create the enabling environment for industrialisation to thrive and to ensure that textile mills and similar industries that once produced thousands of jobs for Nigerians are revived.

Consequently, he said that massive investment in infrastructure would be embarked upon by his government, so as to open up opportunities through the construction of highways linking all parts of the country.

“Road construction alone will unlock a value chain of opportunities in the building industry for construction companies, builders, cement and iron rod production and supply.

“The successful opening up of Nigeria by the construction of new roads and highways will revive road transportation, trucks manufacturing and others on one hand.

“It will also create a demand for jobs for mechanics, drivers and those engaged in transport support businesses,” he said.

Expressing support for establishment of local refineries, he said that his government will pursue efforts that would support the building of local refineries for jobs creation and economic growth.

He said he would promote investment in agriculture to boost food sufficiency and jobs creation, while urging Nigerians to invest their trust in him.

Under the present power sector reforms, distribution companies (Discos) and generation companies (Gencos) are privatised.

John Omachonu