FG plans N2tn economic revival scheme, inaugurates council

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The Federal Government has presented the outcomes of its review of the accelerated stabilisation and advancement plan, which seeks to inject N2tn into the economy in the next six months.

President Bola Tinubu on Thursday said his administration is determined to, in the next few months, increase crude oil production to two million barrels per day and generate more electricity for Nigerians.

He described Nigeria’s current power generation and crude oil production as’ shameful’.

Tinubu said this when he inaugurated a 31-member Presidential Economic Coordination Council at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja, on Thursday.

Thursday’s inauguration comes three months after the President established the committee on March 27, 2024.

The committee comprises himself, Vice President Kashima Shettima, Senate President Godswill Akpabio, the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Yemi Cardoso.

The PECC also comprises 13 persons drawn from the organised private sector, including the Chairman of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote; UBA Chairman, Mr. Tony Elumelu; BUA Founder, Abdulsamad Rabiu, among others, who would serve on the Council for one year.

Tinubu told the private sector players, “As a nation, it is so shameful that we have about 4.5 gigawatts. We must increase our oil production too to 2 million barrels per day within the next few months. Remove all barriers hindering investments into the sector to enhance competitiveness. We’ve had a challenge thrown at us and all of us will have to be careful.

Despite being Africa’s largest oil producer, Nigeria has recently struggled to meet its OPEC production quotas.

The government has blamed challenges such as pipeline vandalism, oil theft and operational inefficiencies for the persistent shortfalls.

For instance, in May 2024, crude oil production averaged only 1.25 million barrels per day, well below its OPEC+ quota and the government’s target of 1.7 million bpd for budgetary purposes.

Similarly, Nigeria’s power generation capacity has remained critically low—4.5 gigawatts- which is inadequate for the industrial needs of its over 200 million citizens. This has contributed to frequent power outages and stifling economic productivity.

Nonetheless, Tinubu says his administration is “determined” to partner with the private sector to overcome these hurdles.

“In the face of it, we have the change of energy security; we need to work together to include power, oil and gas to increase our own grid’s electricity. We are determined to do that with your cooperation, collaboration and recommendation,” he said.

The President also emphasised food security, describing it as “essential.” He reminisced on his policies from months ago, saying, “I have declared a state of emergency on food security and we must increase our staple crops by smallholder farmers; we are going to improve on mechanization.”

Citing the Sokoto-Badagry road announced at the last Federal Executive Council meeting on June 25, Tinubu expressed hope that part of his administration’s infrastructural development is “within reach.”

“If you look at the Sokoto-Badagry road, there are about 36 areas dams that we can tap electricity from and generate additional electricity, and help agriculture and create arable farmland.

“I am ready to listen to you in all of that. You have seen us from close quarters, but we are one. We feel the market pinches differently, including the price of food and all of that.

“I believe Bismarck Rewane will be able to make additional suggestions on what we are lacking and what we should do to stabilise this economy. The manufacturing stabilisation fund, MSMEs too and other fiscal measures have been narrated; I just want to say thank you for responding to this call,” he said.

Tinubu also presented the outcomes of his review of the accelerated stabilisation and advancement plan, which seeks to inject N2tn into the economy in the next six months.

Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr. Wale Edun, who led selected members of the Council to brief State House Correspondents after the inauguration, said the Health, Agriculture and Energy/Power sectors would be prioritised in the emergency funding.

The breakdown is as follows, N350bn for Health and Social Welfare, N500bn for Agriculture and Food Security; N500bn for the Energy and Power sector and general business support of about N650bn, the finance minister explained.

Edun said, “The President has just inaugurated the Presidential economic Coordination Council and that is a body that is made up of the President’s Economic Management Team, the Legislature, represented by the leaders of the National Assembly; the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, as well as very importantly, the sub-nationals, represented by the chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, and, of course, the elite of the private sector.

“They were presented with the outcomes of Mr. President’s review of the accelerated stabilization and advancement plan and that was an emergency plan to cover the next six months, which Mr. President had directed that a combination of his own Economic Management Team and the sub nationals, the governor’s level, and the private sector put together for his consideration.”

“In addition to a range of policy measures and tax measures, there is a range of executive orders which Mr. President has signed and which are being gazetted to ease the cost of doing business at this particular time,” he said.

On his part, the Chairman of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, promised that the private sector will “invest heavily” in the job-creating initiatives.

He added that Nigeria’s economy can be turned around “within a few months” as the “issues are not that bad.”

“The private sector and the public sector will actually work together to make sure that we better the lot of our people…we are going to seat down and advise government on the issue kind of policies that government should roll out.

“Most of these things, we have them. They have already been discussed over and over. It is a matter of implementation. I think the choice of people that are on the PECC are good enough to advise the government on how to implement.

“Our own from the private sector is to…invest heavily and create jobs. The government doesn’t really create jobs; what they do is to give us the right policies. I keep saying our issues are not that bad, this economy can be turned around within a few months and I ,think we are on that way. I pathnk the President for inaugurating this Council. We will start working immediately, and I can assure you that you will see a lot of changes coming,” said Dangote.

The PECC the Ministers of Agriculture and Food Security; Aviation and Aerospace Development and Budget and Economic Planning, Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy; Industry, Trade and Investment; Labour and Employment; Marine and Blue Economy; Power; State, Petroleum Resources; State, Gas; Ministers of Transportation and Works.

Other members of from the organised private sector are Ms. Amina Maina, Mr. Begun Ajayi-Kadir, Mrs. Funke Okpeke and Dr. Doyin Salami, Mr. Patrick Okigbo, Mr. Kola Adesina, Mr. Segun Agbaje, Mr. Chidi Ajaere, Mr. Abdulkadir Aliu and Mr. Rasheed Sarumi.

The move is “in furtherance of his administration’s efforts at re-engineering the nation’s economic governance framework,” the Presidency said in a statement signed by Tinubu’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, in late March. It came weeks after the President created an economic advisory committee comprising the federal government, sub-nationals and the private sector on February 25.

Upon assuming office 13 months ago, the Tinubu administration discontinued subsidies on petrol, which, he said, would save the government monies for infrastructural expansion.

He also unified the foreign exchange rates to curb currency arbitrage.

However, these moves sparked significant instability in the value of the naira and heaped hardship on Nigerians as food prices soared.

Ngelale, who announced the economy-focused initiatives, said the setting up of the PECC was a strategic move to ensure robust and coordinated economic planning and implementation to tackle the challenges head-on.

Punch

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