By Lawrence Olaoye
President Muhammadu Buhari has said that his administration will end unnecessary importation of basic items into the country with a view to creating more jobs for the teeming population.
The President gave this assurance yesterday while receiving the Director-General of the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA),Timothy Olawale and its President, Taiwo Ayodele Adeniyi, at the Presidential Villa.
The President in his remarks said “We have all it takes locally to meet our most basic needs. Our history of unnecessary importation of the most basic items meant we were exporting jobs to other countries at the expense of our citizens.
“This administration is determined and taking steps to bring these jobs back to Nigeria. Our policies are simply designed for that.
There is no doubt the implementation of such policies will not be hitch free. As you pointed out that there are challenges in some areas that needs to be addressed.”
He also pointed out that Nigeria’s private sector has remained a platform for inclusive growth over the past four years adding that his administration was focused on creating an enabling environment for Nigerian businesses to flourish.
According to him, Nigeria invested a lot of time and efforts to improve Nigeria’s ease of doing business.
He said that the administration was implementing various policies and programs to support job creation, Agriculture, transport etc.
Buhari added “I assure you we are looking into these and other methods to ensure we have a sustainable platform for business to succeed.
“This journey is a long one that requires patience, understanding and perseverance. I would therefore encourage you to continue to engage government by providing honest and constructive feedback.
“Together we can build a Nigeria that we all be proud of. On our part as an administration, I assure you that we will continue to do our best to support you in your efforts as employers of labour and vital institutions in our country.”
Briefing State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, NECA insisted that the government must put in place the necessary infrastructures and tackle other challenges in order to benefit from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.
Nigeria, through President Buhari, had endorsed the treaty in Niger Republic early this month.
Tackling the challenges, Olawale said, will make Nigerian businesses and industry more competitive and benefit from AfCFTA treaty.
Asked if NECA was taking advantage of the just signed AfCFTA agreement, Olawale said “Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), agreement is laudable. There are lots of benefits inherent in it. We also know that it is capable of endangering capital inflow into the country.”