What Current Hardships Means To Nigeria Future– Tinubu

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President Bola Tinubu has assured Nigerians that the current hardships in the country were only temporary pains meant to birth permanent gains.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 2023 National Engineering Conference in Abuja on Tuesday, Tinubu stated that the ongoing reforms were meant to secure the future of Nigeria.

Tinubu was represented by Vice President Kashim Shettima at the conference, themed, “Re-engineering the Manufacturing Sector for Competitiveness and Enhanced Economic Growth.”

The president stated at the programme organised by the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) that Nigeria’s problem was not its huge population, but inability to harness the potential of its vast population of young people.

He stressed that Nigeria had the potential of becoming a $1 trillion economy, adding that he intends to prioritise job creation, access to capital for small and large scale businesses, adherence to the rule of law, and the fight against hunger, poverty and corruption.

The president underlined the importance of the engineering profession in any nation, and said national growth and development could not be attained without the contributions of the various facets of the engineering.

“The renewed hope agenda of the present administration is defined by our commitment to unleashing our country’s full economic potential by focusing on job creation, access to capital for small and large businesses, inclusiveness, the rule of law and the fight against hunger, poverty and corruption,” Tinubu said.

“Nigeria has the population and the resources to be a trillion-dollar economy within the next decade. However, we cannot achieve these ambitious targets without recognising the critical importance of the key elements embodied by the theme of this conference, including manufacturing, competitiveness and economic growth.

“Some people view our population of over 200 million people as an obstacle to our economic development. I beg to vehemently disagree. What I see is tremendous potential and opportunity as the largest black population on earth and in Africa and with a median age of 19.”

Tinubu said Nigeria possessed not only a large pool of industrial and engineering expertise, but also a huge market for any product manufactured within the country. But the challenge before the country, he argued, was to change the large population to one of the greatest national assets the world had ever seen.

The president told the engineers that they had a responsibility to work with the government and with all stakeholders to jointly chart a path to true and lasting prosperity for Nigeria by harnessing the immense opportunities in the country.

“I once again offer you my solemn commitment to providing the enabling environment for every policy, legislation and action required for this to happen. During the campaign period, and inauguration of the present administration, I had engagements with stakeholders across the Nigerian manufacturing sector,” he said.

“We are very much aware of the problems and challenges that are uppermost in your minds: access to low-cost capital, challenges of multiple taxation, issues of infrastructure deficits, foreign exchange, export obstacles, amongst others.

“I’m happy to let you know that we are tackling with unprecedented boldness and decisiveness each and every one of these issues.”

In the area of taxation, Tinubu highlighted the setting up of the Presidential Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reform, which was inaugurated in August.

He stressed that the body had already submitted its interim report and was working on the next part of its mandate.

Tinubu said, “Our goal is to increase Nigeria’s tax revenue while also reducing the burden on individuals and businesses. It might sound like a contradiction, but it is not. By streamlining the number of taxes, introducing greater efficiency and blocking the loopholes, we can and will deliver less burdensome tax regime to businesses and employers of labour.

“In the foreign exchange market, we have abolished an unwieldy and much abused rates regime, setting the foundation for transparent prices and all of the other elements required to attract substantial inflows into a properly run official market.

“In infrastructure, we are supporting the states with seed financing for transformation and infrastructure fund. In addition to this, the petrol subsidy reforms have led to dramatic increases in subnational revenues, which means the states have more resources to invest in infrastructure and other critical areas.”

On access to capital, the president said he had directed the creation of a new single-digit interest rate fund to provide N75 billion to support manufacturing enterprises.

He stated that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was now under a new management and was reprioritising its mandates of inflation management and exchange rate stability.

Tinubu said, “If you look closely at the supplementary budget, you will find that it was designed primarily to support targeted interventions and initiatives that will cushion the effects of the temporary hardships caused by our much needed economic reforms.

“I will again seize this opportunity to remind all Nigerians that I’m not unmindful of the hardships being faced by many in these difficult times. They are, indeed, temporary, but the benefits will be permanent.”

 

 

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