Agriculture, manufacturing key to economic recovery – Buhari


By; SUNDAY ODE, Abuja.
President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated that the fate of Nigeria’s economy depends largely on viable agricultural and manufacturing sector.
Accordingly, he promised to create a business friendly environment for manufacturers in the country even as he urged them to partner with government in efforts to diversify the economy and create jobs.
President Buhari stated this in a key note address he delivered at the 44th Annual General meeting of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) held in Abuja with the theme: “Diversifying the Nigerian Economy: the Role of Government in Manufacturing.”
He said: “This Administration is convinced that the key to our quest for economic diversification and therefore survival lies in Agriculture and the Manufacturing sector. A strong manufacturing sector will create more jobs and wealth for our people. It will usher in sustainable economic prosperity because we will produce what we consume as a nation and generate foreign exchange by exporting any surplus.
“The Manufacturing sector is well positioned to be a major driver of Nigeria’s economic growth because of our immense natural resources and the entrepreneurial spirit of Nigerians.  Government is therefore focused on implementing necessary policies and strategies aimed at unleashing the full potentials of manufacturing in Nigeria. We will rely heavily on your ideas and inputs at all stages of formulation and implementation of new industrial policies. For our part, we will remove bottlenecks and create a more business friendly environment.
“We are working on improving the patronage of locally made goods, bridging the gap between skills required by industry and those provided by our educational institutions and access to finance for our Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises (SMEs). We recognise that MAN and the other Organised Private Sector (OPS) groups are our key stakeholders in this journey and we will continue our engagement with you.”
President Buhari commended MAN for what he described as “commitment to the future of our great country” and urged the association “to consider our national interest, so that the outcome of your deliberations will be to the benefit of Nigerians workers and promoters alike.”
He invited them to join hands with government in making our ongoing efforts a success, noting that “as events unfold in the coming months, many of you will be called upon to play critical roles in the implementation of this Administration’s agenda. I implore you to avail us your wealth of experience so that together we can uplift our nation’s economy and social well-being.”
The President also disclosed that his administration’s strategic plan to boost manufacturing activities in the country is supported by the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) and the National Enterprises Development Programme (NEDEP), adding that “these programs, present a clear road map towards an industrialised Nigerian economy.”


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