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What President Buhari Promised Dangote, Otedola, Others During APC Lagos Campaign Rally

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President Buhari meets Lagos business community
President Buhari meets Lagos business community.
After landing in Lagos State, President Muhammadu Buhari met with the members of the organised private sector at the State House in Marina where he assured them of his government’s support if re-elected for second term.

President Muhammadu Buhari was in Lagos, the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria, for the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Rally on Saturday, February 9th but he didn’t leave the city without meeting with Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote, oil magnate, Femi Otedola and other heavyweights in the business community.

He promised them of his administration's support to make their businesses strive as he aims to rule for another four years.

He said he had kept his promise to boost the economy, block leakages in government finances, increase capital expenditure and inflows, and implement the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), among others.

The meeting, which was held at the State House, Marina, shortly before the President proceeded to the Teslim Balogun Stadium for the rally, included representatives of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Nigeria Association of Small and Medium Enterprises.

Shortly after the meeting, Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity, issued a statement highlighting the outcome of the meeting.

Adesina quoted Buhari as saying, “I firmly believe that our economic policies are beginning to make the desired impact. Economic growth has resumed and is continuing to improve.

“Growth was higher in 2017 than in 2016, data even from external sources shows that it will be higher in 2018 than in 2017. I am confident that as we stay the course, it will be better still at the end of 2019.

“Inflation is coming down steadily, there is stability in the exchange rate and foreign exchange is readily available for genuine business. Foreign reserves are adequate and growing; capital inflows have increased and the trade balance is positive.

“We are paying off debts that were not even publicly acknowledged before now, including those owed to states, the electricity sector, oil marketers, exporters, backlog of salaries of workers and pensioners, amongst others.”
Buhari told the business community that he was a strong believer in infrastructural investment to promote development.

He stated, “I am happy that the results of the priority we have placed on this sector are beginning to show. Our commitment is reflected in the resources that we are providing for infrastructure. In 2016 and 2017, capital expenditure was up to N2.7 trillion while over N800 million has been released under the current budget.

“This has been complemented by the inception of the $650 million Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund, which will focus initially on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, the Second Niger Bridge, the Abuja-Kano expressway, and the Mambilla hydropower plant.”

The statement also said the President highlighted completed and ongoing projects in the transport and aviation sector and expressed delight that the rail projects were generating excitement across the country because it would help local businesses to grow.

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According to him, “The Abuja-Kaduna railway is up and running. The Itakpe-Warri line is being test-run before going commercial. The completed portion of the Abuja light rail project is facilitating movement to the airport.

“The Lagos-Ibadan railway is nearing completion with people already taking test rides on the completed portions. We are determined to work at the same pace on the Coastal Railway Line and the line from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri.

“We completed the repairs to the runway in Abuja in record time, and just a few weeks ago, I commissioned the Baro Inland Port. All these achievements will help Nigerian businesses to grow.”

Adesina said the President also spoke on future plans to sustain the positive economic outlook, saying the federal government would raise more revenue to boost the economic fundamentals and increase the level and quality of government services in support of the private sector.

He quoted Buhari as saying, “I recently inaugurated a Technical Advisory Committee to identify new sources of revenue in this regard. This is also to ensure that government at all levels have the resources to pay the new national wage, which we are indeed committed to paying.

“Our economic fundamentals are strong and, in the next four years, by the grace of God, we are determined to stay the course in terms of partnerships with the private sector; support to the real sector; helping small businesses, providing infrastructure and an enabling business environment.”

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