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Nigeria will exit recession stronger, bigger



Nigeria will exit recession stronger, bigger
Acting President Osinbajo: Nigeria will get better after recession

By Raji Rasak and Funke Ishola

Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on Thursday assured investors that the country would come out of economic recession stronger and bigger than before,  with its Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) policy.

The acting president gave the assurance at the Presidential Policy Dialogue Session, organised by Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) in Lagos.

According to Osinbajo, the whole objective of ERGP is to restore growth, invest in Nigerians and build competitive economy.

“In order to achieve this objective, we have clarified five areas of actions.

“This includes to stabilise macro-economic environment and achieve agriculture and food security.

“Ensure energy sufficiency in power and petroleum products, improve transportation infrastructure and drive industrialisation, especially by leveraging on Small and Medium Entrepreneurship (SME).

“Of course, we are setting up a Presidential Delivery Unit that will be tasked with integrating the economic recovery programme and ensure that the progress is measurable and the implementation is stead fast,” he said.

Osinbajo, who was represented by Dr Okechukwu Enelamah, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, said the country was witnessing a challenged economy.

Osinbajo said government was committed to improving power sector and creating friendly environment for businesses.

Earlier, Dr Nike Akande, the President of LCCI, said the chamber was delighted to observe that the short to medium term outlook for the Nigerian economy was much better than what it was this time last year.

According to Akande, this is the outcome of the series of new policy initiatives, engagements and consultations with key stakeholders and some positive developments in the external sector.

She commended the government’s responsive disposition which had led to some policy reviews.

“The foreign exchange policy has been reviewed to reduce the volatility in the foreing exchange (FOREX) market and minimise uncertainties.

“Investors’ confidence is on the upswing, liquidity in the FOREX market has increased, there is better clarity in the policy direction, FOREX inflows are beginning to pick up.

“We are also very confident that recent government initiatives on the ease of doing business would impact positively on the economy, “she said.

She commended the Federal Government for setting up the Presidential Ease of Doing Business Council (PEBEC) with Acting President as the Chairman.

Akande said the chamber applauded the recent Executive Orders targeted at enhancing the investment climate and improving Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria.

Akande, however, drew the attention of the acting president to the power sector reform, which after four years, had not met the expectations of the business community and the citizens.
She urged the government to intervene and restore sanity in the sector.

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