President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has said Nigeria can become a trillion-dollar economy within the next ten years with its rich population and resources.
He stated this on Tuesday in Abuja during the opening session of the 2023 National Engineering Conference, Exhibition and Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE).
The president was represented at the event by his deputy, Vice President Kashim Shettima.
This, President Tinubu said, can be further facilitated by ongoing efforts on job creation, access to capital for small and large businesses, inclusiveness, the rule of law and the fight against hunger, poverty and corruption.
He however expressed disbelief that the ambitious target could be achievable without taking into account the importance of the key elements encapsulated in the theme of the NSE Conference, “Manufacturing, Competitiveness and Economic Growth”.
The president, who said that he was not unmindful of the hardships most Nigerians were enmeshed in, however stated that “The difficult times are indeed temporary, but the benefits will be permanent.”
Tinubu, who reeled out his administration’s efforts in transforming the economy and creating opportunities for citizens in a statement by the vice president’s spokesman, Stanley Nkwocha, said, “I have had engagements with stakeholders across Nigeria’s manufacturing sector. I am very much aware of the problems and challenges that are uppermost in your minds: access to low-cost capital, multiple taxation, infrastructure issues, foreign exchange, and export obstacles, among others.
“I am happy to let you know that we are tackling, with unprecedented boldness and decisiveness, each and every one of these issues.”
On taxation, President Tinubu explained that his administration’s goal is to increase the country’s tax revenues and reduce the burden on individuals and businesses at the same time.
“It may sound like a contradiction, but it is not: by streamlining the number of taxes, introducing greater efficiency, and blocking the loopholes through which leakages occur, we can and will deliver less burdensome tax regimes to businesses and employers of labour.
“The government’s focus in foreign exchange has been to abolish an unwieldy and much-abused rate regime, setting the foundation for transparent price discovery and all the other elements required to attract substantial inflows into a properly-run official market,” the president added.
On Infrastructure, Tinubu said, “We are supporting the states with seed financing for a transformational Infrastructure Fund. In addition to this, the petrol subsidy reforms have led to dramatic increases in subnational revenues, which means the states have more resources to invest in infrastructure and other critical areas.”
He also hinted that he had ordered “The creation of a new single-digit interest-rate Fund to provide N75 billion to support manufacturing enterprises, among other targeted financing interventions.
On his part, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas has stated that the Federal Government National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan (NIIMP) launched in 2020 envisions an investment of $2.3 trillion over the next 23 years to bridge Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit.