Buhari Hosts Members Of Lagos Chamber Of Commerce
President Muhammadu Buhari has restated the commitment of his administration to further invest in Nigeria’s infrastructural development.
The President gave the assurance when he hosted members of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) at the State House in Abuja on Wednesday.
Buhari further disclosed that the government will continue to put structures and policies in place to support the ease of doing business and attract investment.
According to a State House press release made available to Naija News, President Buhari said to his guests:
“Let me start by thanking you for your kind prayers and to assure you of our continued commitment to supporting the private sector to flourish and create jobs across the country.”
“In the last four years, we have invested heavily in infrastructure development. We supported our development banks to provide loans to traders and small enterprises. We signed executive orders to support local content consumption. We also focused on enhancing ease of doing business to facilitate investment.”
“Thankfully, there was alignment with the monetary authorities and this significantly contributed to the successes we are seeing today.”
He also explained why he didn’t immediately sign the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement as expected in certain quarters.
“The consultative approach Nigeria took on the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement is just another example of our desire for sustainable and inclusive growth. The team visited all the geopolitical zones. We met farmers, commodity traders, manufacturers, bankers and stock brokers. And we listened and made note of their views.”
“Our studies revealed that although the services sector was doing ok, other key job creating sectors such as manufacturing and processing were still lagging behind.”
“This is evident by the fact that intra-African trade only accounts for 14% of Africa’s total trade. As a continent, our consumption is mostly of goods imported from outside the continent.”
“We viewed this as both an opportunity and a threat. It is an opportunity as Nigerian manufacturers can aggressively expand to meet the huge demand across the continent. It is a threat as one can abuse the rules of origin to flood the market with imports from outside the continent thereby destroying jobs here at home.”
“Nigeria’s engagement in the next phase of the negotiations is to ensure proper safeguards are put in place to support African manufacturers. We shall continue to count on your support to ensure this goal is achieved.”
The President also lamented the issue of prevalent traffic holdups on the Apapa highway which has continued to defy solution, promising to work in agreement with the Lagos State government to find a lasting solution.
“I must admit the Apapa gridlock still remains a challenge. It saddens me that businesses have had to suffer as a result of this. We are doing our very best working with the Lagos State Government to bring an end to this issue.
We shall review the other matters you have raised in your remarks.”
“Once again, thank you for coming. I wish you a very safe journey back to your respective homes.”
“May God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria”, President Buhari said.
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