By Ayo Kehinde
The All Progressives Congress APC has said it welcomes the opinion of the former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and suggestions he made to the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration on the need to diversify Nigeria’s economy.
The party however said the government has made the bold efforts in the last five years towards diversification of the economy and the many positive gains our country has recorded.
In a statement by Malam Lanre Issa-Onilu, National Publicity Secretary of the party, it said, “while we appreciate that Atiku Abubakar is keying into this administration’s policy direction regarding diversification, we are only worried that it took him 13 years after leaving office to realise that the Government under which he served as the Vice President was short-sighted for its failure to faithfully diversify the Nigerian economy.
“For free, we would gladly educate the former Vice President on the several policies this administration has introduced since 2015 to diversify Nigeria’s economy.
It said that since the government launched of the National Action Plan on Ease of Doing Business, being driven by the Presidential Enabling and Business Environment Council (PEBEC), the APC government has aggressively implemented major reforms by reducing the challenges faced by the Minor, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in accessing credits, paying taxes, amongst others.
Other areas of achievements, according to the party, include the attracted $122million out of the $493million in funding for African startup sector in 2019, the Bank of Industry (BoI) approved $20 million Technology Fund for young innovators and the CBN N90billion soft loan facility for small scale agricultural enterprises.
Others are the Open Treasury Portal, OTP, coupled with the full implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) “which has increased the level of accountability, transparency in financial resources of government and plugged leakages.
Infrastructural improvements in railway construction and the aviation sector as well as agricultural diversification through the CBN –run Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, were also mention in the statement.
“Most heart-warming is the fact that the private sector is keying into the President Buhari’s agenda. An example is the Dangote Group’s ongoing test running of its $2billion fertiliser plant, which would make Nigeria meet all its domestic demand and also make our country a net exporter of fertiliser.
“In the areas of plugging revenue leakages, curbing waste, diversifying and growing the economy, budgeting, borrowings, ease of doing business, support of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs), the President Muhammadu Buhari government is matching electoral promises with actions.”