FG affirms commitment to Socio-Economic Devt
President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has stated that his administration remains committed to the socio-economic development of the country.
He stated this today during a special presidential audience with Bank CEOs and other key players in the nation's financial and manufacturing sectors which held in the Press Centre, Dodan Barracks, Lagos.
President Jonathan said apart from Government's strong commitment to electoral reforms, a virile democracy is inextricably linked to a viable economy. Hence, he said, economic growth and development remain the central focus of the present administration.
“A sound economy is not only a dividend of democracy, but the right of every Nigerian and our collective responsibility. So while we try to consolidate the country's political achievement with a determination to ensure credible, free and fair elections next year, our eyes remain focused on economic growth and development which are central to everything else”.
“Let me assure you all that the cornerstone of this administration remains the socio-economic development of our dear country,” Jonathan stated.
The President said the nation's real GDP improved significantly by 7.4 percent in the first half of this year, relative to 5.9 percent during the same period in 2009. He linked this enhanced economic performance to sustained growth in the non-oil sectors and improvement in oil production, adding that the country can achieve sustained double-digit growth as a result.
He called for coordinated efforts between the public and private sectors towards a buoyant economy, as “there is no better opportunity than now to deploy our rich potentials and put the real sector, financial and capital markets on a sound footing.”
President Jonathan said in spite of the resilience of the nation's economy to the global economic crunch, Government is committed to addressing the remaining challenges of inadequate credit facilities, national infrastructure and unemployment.
He listed the present administration's strategy for the attainment of the V20-2020 to include sourcing and allocation of capital with a focus on creating access to cheap and long term capital; inclusive growth, with a view to providing opportunities for economic and human capital development; enhanced productivity in developing power and other national infrastructure; and improved business climate to encourage competitiveness among economic sectors.
The President also revealed that the board of the newly constituted Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) will be inaugurated this Monday. He added that specific policy measures and interventions to address the issue of multiple taxation would be announced before the end of the month.
Minister of Finance, Dr. Olusegun Aganga said the event is part of the regular consultation by Government with stakeholder in the Nation's economy to fast track the nation's economic recovery. He said Government is committed to creating conducive economic environment that will bring about job creations and create better future for Nigerians. His comments opened the floor for contributions by the financial actors.
The World Bank representative at the event, Mr Ismail Radwa commended the Federal Government for the banking reform initiated in 2009 which he said has brought about confidence in the sector. He said their recent assessment of the banking sector showed that there is no huge credit risk and there a lot of liquidity in the system.
Radwa, however, called for a synergy in the credit system among bank and that measures should be put in place to check stock management manipulation.
President, Manufacturing Association of Nigeria, Chief Kola Jamodu called for concerted efforts by Government to make basic infrastructure work and to address the problems of insecurity, terrorism and kidnapping.
He noted that it costs a local manufacturer in Nigeria 40 per cent more to produce compared to other countries even in Africa.
Jamodu also urged Government to fast track the passage of anti-terrorism and anti money laundering Acts pending before the National Assembly.
Business mogul, Aliko Dangote, stressed the need to give priority attention to agriculture, small and medium scale enterprises as well as building of more Ports to ease the congestion in Lagos port.
He remarked that the last Port built by the government was in 1978 in spite of the growing activities in the maritime sector.
Former President of Nigeria Stock Exchange, Oba Otudeko, advised government to place emphasis on cooperative societies at the local level to encourage farming.
Otudeko also said that more Nigerians should be given the opportunity to invest in the telecommunication and oil sector to promote national interest.