Buhari seeks pub­lic-pri­vate sec­tor syn­ergy for growth

Business a.m. - - MANUFACTURING - Temi­tayo Aiyetoto

PRES­I­DENT MUHAM MADU Buhari last Fri­day called for deeper col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tors to­ward achiev­ing more vi­brant eco­nomic growth.

At the open­ing of the 37th La­gos In­ter­na­tional Trade Fair or­gan­ised by the La­gos Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try (LCCI), the pres­i­dent said vi­brant en­gage­ment and col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the two sec­tors were vi­tal to im­prov­ing the busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment.

Feed­backs and di­a­logues with the pri­vate sec­tor will guide the govern­ment’s poli­cies, pro­grammes and re­forms, Buhari con­ceded.

Rep­re­sented by Yemi Os­in­bajo the vice-pres­i­dent, the ad­mi­nis-

tra­tion had em­barked on var­i­ous re­forms to cre­ate en­abling en­vi­ron­ment and to ad­dress the chal­lenges that sti­fled the growth of mi­cro, small and medium en­ter­prises in the coun­try.

About N2.7 tril­lion in two bud­get cy­cles has been spent on cap­i­tal and in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment across the coun­try, in spite of earn­ing 60 per­cent less in the past five years, he lamented.

The fund, he noted, was spent on roads, rails, power and other sim­i­lar projects which cut across dif­fer­ent re­gions of the coun­try to­ward mak­ing the busi­ness cli­mate eas­ier and im­prove the wel­fare of the cit­i­zens. Also, N15.2 bil­lion in­ter­est-free loan rang­ing from N50, 000 to N350, 000 has been dis­bursed to over 400, 000 mar­ket traders and ar­ti­sans across the 36 states of the fed­er­a­tion.

“We have been able to open bank ac­counts for about 349, 000 traders un­der Govern­ment En­ter­prise and Em­pow­er­ment Pro­gramme (GEEP) for the tra­der­moni scheme. We have been able to bring in petty traders from the in­for­mal sec­tor to the for­mal econ­omy so that we can ac­cess them with fi­nan­cial lit­er­acy and even in­sur­ance,” the pres­i­dent said through vice pres­i­dent Os­in­bajo.

Buhari said 56 per­cent of the loans were dis­bursed to women to ex­pand their op­por­tu­ni­ties in busi­ness.

On his path, Ba­batunde Ruwase, pres­i­dent, La­gos Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try (LCCI), said the cham­ber was com­mit­ted to the vi­sion of the cur­rent ad­min­is­tra­tion in re­spect of eco­nomic di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion and self-re­liance.

He said that the eco­nomic and in­vest­ment poli­cies must be right and in­vest­ment friendly to at­tract more pri­vate cap­i­tal into the econ­omy.

Cor­rob­o­rat­ing him, Alaba Law­son, the na­tional pres­i­dent, Nige­rian As­so­ci­a­tion of Cham­bers of Com­merce, In­dus­try, Mines and Agri­cul­ture (NACCIMA), urged the govern­ment to ex­pe­dite ac­tions on in­fra­struc­ture across the coun­try to im­prove eco­nomic ac­tiv­i­ties.

Ear­lier, Ak­in­wunmi Am­bode, gover­nor, La­gos State, said the state would con­tinue to part­ner with the pri­vate sec­tor to cre­ate an en­abling en­vi­ron­ment for busi­nesses to thrive.

Am­bode, rep­re­sented by Olayinka Oladun­joye, the state com­mis-


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