President Muhammadu Buhari says he will gladly reverse or abandon some inherited economic policies if doing so will lead to the creation of more jobs for Nigerians.
The president made the statement at a meeting in the Presidential Villa on Monday with Executive Members of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN).
He directed the Ministries of Industries, Trade and Investment, and Finance, as well as the Central Bank and other relevant government agencies to evolve before next year’s budget, new policies to boost domestic manufacturing.
“We are in difficult times economically, but we’ll continue to do our best for manufacturing to pick up. We must begin to behave as if we have no oil at all.
“We will gladly have policy somersaults, if it will mean more jobs, particularly for youths. I campaigned on three major planks. To effectively secure our country, provide employment through revamping the economy, and wage a relentless war against corruption. I intend to keep faith with these promises,” a statement by the President’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, quoted Buhari as saying.
He lamented that the textile industry that employed about 320,000 people in the past only parades about 30,000 now.
“It shows the carelessness of past governments, if almost 300,000 people lose jobs in a single sector. We have a clear idea of how we can stimulate employment and we will work very hard to do so,” President Buhari told the MAN delegation.
The MAN President, Dr Frank Udemba Jacobs had appealed for a review of policies that stifle the manufacturing sector, noting that the importance of a robust manufacturing sector for the general well-being of the economy cannot be over-emphasised.