Presidential Candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, yesterday in Lagos, the commercial capital, met with business leaders, investors and captains of industry across various sectors to present his economic agenda for the country, ahead of the 2023 elections.
The event, an interactive session with industrialists, business executives, entrepreneurs and foreign investors, was held at the Eko Hotels and Suites in Victoria Island and was organised at the instance of the Lagos State government.
Chairman of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote; foremost entrepreneur and investor, Tony Elumelu, and founder of Zenith Bank, Mr Jim Ovia, led the pack of business leaders that graced the event, which was also attended by Tinubu’s running mate, Sen. Kashim Shettima, APC governors and party stalwarts.
Speaking at the event, Tinubu said the 2023 presidential election presented another opportunity for Nigeria, which, he said, stands at the threshold between indifference and greatness.
The APC flag bearer, who is also a former governor of Lagos, said the cardinal programmes of his economic policies would not be limited to the sole domain of one sector, noting that the benefits would be reaped in the cooperation between government and the private sector.
According to him, the private sector and the government should constantly be at war. Still, they must not wage the battle as enemies, saying that the government and business community must stand as inseparable allies to combat common enemies of scarcity, underdevelopment, joblessness and the fear they brought to the polity.
He assured that said his administration would be targeting double-digit GDP for the country to reduce the poverty rate and revive industries by bringing the nation’s industrial policy to life.
“I share a few ideas that provide some insight into my vision for a more prosperous and secure nation where hope is renewed and despair rebuffed. All Nigerians must be partners in our better future. We must maintain the spirit of respectful and productive dialogue. At times what I say may help you. Other times, what you say may enlighten me. We must always talk and confer with the best of intentions. Just as I maintain an open-door policy before the election, I shall continue to honour it after the election.
“We shall not be satisfied by bolstering traditional sectors. We will foster productive excellence in new areas, such as manufacturing and the Nollywood entertainment sector. Through active participation in the digital economy, we shall make Nigeria a leader, instead of a bystander, in the fourth industrial revolution. We will seek a consumer credit revolution, working in concert with the banking sector. Credit at affordable rates enables the purchase of more homemade products and the construction of more homes. The standard of living shall rise and the strength of the business sector shall increase in similar measures,” he said.
Speaking further, Tinubu said his experience in both the private sectors and public office afforded him a special appreciation of the economic potency that could be achieved by leveraging collaboration between the government and the business community.
The party chieftain said Lagos was the appropriate location for the private sector engagement as, according to him, the State’s economic growth had become his visible experiment that could support his claim of competency and ability.
“We turned this Lagos into a safer, more prosperous place where people can go about any legitimate vocation or venture regardless of their ethnicity, religion, region or prior social station. We did more than open Lagos for business. We opened the door for all Nigerians to join and experience the decent things progressive democratic governance can bring.
“May I remind you that when I first entered the office, Lagos was a different story? My team and I developed a development master plan for Lagos. I can say that plan has been largely successful. The pragmatic problem-solving and teamwork that has improved the fortunes of Lagos, is what I want to bring to the nation. I ask for your help as the task ahead is doable but also difficult,” the APC flag bearer stated.