Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, National leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, yesterday marked his 65 birthday with a bash and afterward led the big and mighty to a colloquium at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Before the impressive crowd at the high brow hotel, he delivered a speech titled, “Nigeria; Meeting Current Challenges”
Drawing on models of development from the developed world, he suggested measures to wake up the country from its economic slumber.
Agriculture, infrastructural renewal, improved power supply, economic diversification and investor friendly interest rates by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, were some of the suggestions in his engaging speech.
According to him:“ We must learn from England, which barred the migration of its master craftsmen and the export of textile looms at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution; to America and high tariffs it imposed on foreign manufactured goods for over 150 years from its independence until after the second World War; to China which implemented a most radical and comprehensive protectionist regime to become the world’s most prolific manufacturing nation,”
“Whether we decide to focus our attention on steel, textiles, cars, machinery components, or other items, the truth is that we must focus on manufacturing important, useful things,”
“The lack of power places our businesses at profound disadvantage, driving up costs, impeding productivity and dousing overall economic activities and job creation,”
At a moment, he went personal:
“For a moment, may I dispense with the formality of titles and protocol. Osinbajo is many good things. Today, may I simply call him my friend and brother. I must applaud President Muhammadu Buhari. He meticulously followed our constitution by temporarily transferring the helm to the VP. As such, the two excellent men exemplified teamwork and true meaning of unity of purpose.
“These two men, although from different backgrounds, faith and professional experiences, have forged themselves into a team that manages complex matters of state and governance in a seamless and smooth manner. Try as critics might, they could not create any space between the President and his deputy.”
Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, businessman Aliko Dangote and Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd.), who represented President Muhammadu Buhari, all delivered goodwill messages, while the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadiq Abubakar, delivered the keynote address
Dignitaries who graced the occasion included Osinbajo and his wife, Dolapo; the governors of Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Kaduna and Edo states, Akinwunmi Ambode, Ibikunle Amosun, Abiola Ajimobi and Nasir el-Rufai and Godwin Obaseki respectively.
Others were a former Vice-President, Namadi Sambo, a former governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel; the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, and the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, ex-governors of Edo, Ekiti, Ogun, Anambra and Bayelsa states, Adams Oshiomhole, Adeniyi Adebayo, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, Peter Obi and Timipre Sylva respectively among others.
The 9th Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu Colloquium had as its theme, “Make it in Nigeria: Use what we make, make what we use.”