President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration is ready to reverse or abandon some inherited economic policies, if it means the creation of more jobs for Nigerians.
Speaking at a meeting with executive members of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), in the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Monday, Buhari directed the Ministries of Industries, Trade and Investment and Finance as well as the Central Bank and other relevant government agencies to evolve new policies to boost domestic manufacturing before next year’s budget.
“We are in difficult times economically, but we’ll continue to do our best for manufacturing to pick up. We must begin to behave as if we have no oil at all.
“We will gladly have policy somersaults, if it will mean more jobs, particularly for youths.
“I campaigned on three major planks. To effectively secure our country, provide employment through revamping the economy, and wage a relentless war against corruption. I intend to keep faith with these promises,” he said.
The president lamented that the near-death of the textile industry that employed about 320,000 people in the past but now employs only 30,000.
“It shows the carelessness of past governments, if almost 300,000 people lose jobs in a single sector.
“We have a clear idea of how we can stimulate employment and we will work very hard to do so,” Buhari told the MAN delegation.
Meanwhile, President of MAN, Dr Frank Jacobs appealed for a review of policies that stifle the manufacturing sector. He noted that the importance of a robust manufacturing sector for the general well-being of the economy could not be over-emphasized.