Temitope Ogunbanke and Murtala Ayinla
The Federal Government has revealed it was already copying the Lagos State template to revive the economy, assuring that the country will soon be out of the economic recession.
It promised to help entrepreneurs to grow Made-in- Nigeria products to boost the country’s economy.
Speaking yesterday at the 9th Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu Colloquium in Lagos, President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by the Minister for Interior, Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd), said that the Federal Government has already put policies in place to encourage and facilitate Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to promote madein- Nigeria goods. The colloquium had the theme, “Use what we make, Make what you use.”
It was meant to mark Tinubu’s 65th birthday. Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, said the Federal Government recently released N1 trillion for capital expenditure to make the economy productive, adding that measures were being taken to bring about multiple streams of revenue. The minister implored Nigerians, especially businessmen and the rich, to pay tax to increase government’s revenue.
“The economic template we copied from you (Lagos) is now being implemented for economic recovery of the country and we are not ashamed to say it. The impact of that template is that many of the states are now copying it, especially in the area of Internal Generated Revenue (IGR).
We are following that which you laid down. “The situation we found ourselves today demands that we have multiple sources of revenue. We need to create jobs for people. We need to drive the economy by creating jobs. We will change Nigeria by consuming what we make in Nigeria. Using what we make and consuming what we make is the best way towards economic recovery.
“The tax mobilisation we copied from Tinubu is what we are using and we thank you for leading the way in tax collection. As a matter of fact, when you (Tinubu) embarked on aggressive tax collection, which eventually led to increased IGR in the state, many people complained. But the truth is that we all can see the massive infrastructural development achieved from that aggressive tax collection,” she said.
Minister of Trade and Investment counterpart, Dr. Okechukwu Enelemah, assured entrepreneurs that government will make it easier for people to do business by creating a friendly environment, where business can grow. “Government is doing a lot to ensure that small and medium scale businesses grow in Nigeria.
We would make it easier for entrepreneurs to do their business in Nigeria,” he said. While stressing the need for Nigerians to embrace Made-in-Nigeria products, Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar disclosed that some of the equipments being used presently by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) were locally produced at a reduced price.
Lagos State Governor, M.r Akinwunmi Ambode assured that his administration would continue to improve on indices of the ease of doing business to ensure that more products are made in Nigeria for the development and growth of our nation.
Also speaking, Tinubu said it is time for the Federal Government to press forward with its national industrial policy and national infrastructural plan, especially by creating infrastructural funding from financial institutions.
Tinubu, who commended the present leadership of the country, also advocated the need to embrace other forms of power generation and incentives to bring back some of the manufacturing companies that hitherto left Nigeria due to unfriendly business environment. He also urged Nigerians to embrace Made-in- Nigeria products to grow Nigerian economy, adding that “Not only must we use what we make and what we use; we must fix our minds to make what the world values.” There were presentations by small scale business owners of made-in Nigeria products on their successes and challenges.
Dignitaries that graced the event include Vice- President Yemi Osinbajo, governors of Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Kaduna, Plateau, Kebbi and Sokoto, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Uguru Sanni; Alhaji Aliko Dangote and Mr. Femi Otedola. Others are former Vice- President Namadi Sambo, senators, politicians, and entrepreneurs, among others.
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