Hardship: Dangote, Soludo, Abiodun, Elumelu, Rewane In Tinubu’s Economic Advisory Team


Feb 26, 2024

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu yesterday reassured all Nigerians that his administration would put a “Marshall Plan in place and fashion out the best economic future for this country.”

Expressing concern over the welfare of ordinary Nigerians, Tinubu stressed the need for government at all levels to ensure that such persons were not disappointed.

He spoke at a meeting with members of the Tripartite Economic Advisory Committee at Aso Villa.
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ADULAWO News reports that the members are drawn from the Federal Government, states and the Organised Private Sector.

Vice-President Kashim Shettima; Chief of Staff to the President Femi Gbajabiamila and Governors Dapo Abiodun(Ogun) and Charles Soludo(Anambra) were at the meeting.

Also in attendance were Wale Edun, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy; Atiku Bagudu, Budget and National Planning minister, Abubakar Kyari, Agriculture and Food Security minister and Mohammed Idris, Information and National Orientation.

Some of the private sector players at the meeting included Chairman of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote; Chairman of BUA Group, Abdul Samad Rabiu; Chairman of Heirs Holdings, Tony Elumelu; Group Chief Executive Officer of Pandora Plc, Wale Tinubu; Managing Director of Matrix Group, Abdullabir Aliu; Chief Executive Officer of Financial Derivative Company, Bismarck Rewane; and Director-General, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Segun Ajayi-Kadir.
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ADULAWO News gathered from sources close to the meeting that some of the committee members would accompany the President to a Business and Investment Forum in Qatar.

One of the sources explained that Tinubu sought the cooperation of the invitees in making his economic diversification plan a reality.

According to him, the President believes that the invitees, especially the governors and business moguls, could woo both local and foreign investors.

He said: “It (meeting) is essentially a meeting to seek the cooperation of the business community and mobilise them around government policies and drive more investments from both local and foreign investors.

“Some of them will also follow him to Qatar on a state Visit and be part of the Business and Investment Forum in Qatar.”

He quoted the President as saying: “Let us look at what we’re doing right and what we’re doing wrong to bring life back to the economy.
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“As 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 every one of us will have to fetch water from the same well. ⁣

“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.” ⁣

At the end of the meeting, some of the committee members expressed optimism about the focus of their task and how it would affect the economy and touch the lives of Nigerians positively.

Governor Abiodun said governors resolved to work with the Federal Government to stem the harsh economic realities in the country by distributing more palliatives to the masses.
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He said: “ 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 effects 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.

“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.

“We are going to be doing things to bring succour to the common man until when you begin to see the evidence of the fiscal and monetary policies.”

Soludo said achieving all that was discussed at the meeting would require the contribution of all Nigerians.

He revealed the committee would meet from time to time to evaluate the progress of action plans.

He added: “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. 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 and execution.

“We now have 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.”

Dangote expressed confidence that everything discussed could be achieved.

“I think we had a 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.

“All these things have been discussed in detail. 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.”

BUA boss Rabiu, who described the weak value of the Naira as artificial. said that ongoing efforts at stabilising the FX market would make the local currency bounce back

He said: “The meeting was open; it was frank and it was exhaustive. Some of the issues we discussed for example, 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 to local currency 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 N1,600 and N1,500 now, and as you all know, everything in Nigeria is indexed to the foreign exchange, especially when it comes to stuff that we import.”

Elumelu said implementing decisions reached would propel the economy and ease hardship.

“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 propel our economy and help alleviate the poverty in the land, help create employment and help put food on the table,” he said.

MAN Director General Ajayi-Kadir said the issues surrounding foreign exchange, security and others were discussed.

He recalled that the President had already given manufacturers assurances that the business environment would soon be conducive.

“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.
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“I think with the advisory committee that has been formed, the private sector will play a very significant role.

“Nigerians, going forward should be hopeful that we are having solutions to the challenges that we have.”

The Nation

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