Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has reassured that his administration would hit a double figure Gross Domestic Product (GDP) if elected president in the 2023 presidential election.
Tinubu said having achieved similar economic success as Lagos State governor, he has the capacity to repeat the same feat as president of the country.
The APC presidential candidate made the commitment while laying out his Action Plan before the business leaders at a townhall meeting with the Business Community and Organised Private Sector at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
He said, “Lagos is an appropriate venue for this meeting. You may have heard that I was once governor of this dynamic economic force. However, may I remind you that when I first entered office, Lagos was a different story.
“My team and I developed a blueprint, a master plan, for Lagos. I can say that plan has been largely successful. We turned this state into a safer, more prosperous place where people can go about any legitimate vocation or venture regardless of their ethnicity, religion, region or prior social station.
“We did more than open Lagos for business. We opened the door for all Nigeria to join and experience the decent things progressive democratic governance can bring.
“We were not perfect but we did a lot. In doing so, we worked hand in hand with the business community as partners sharing the same goals of prosperity and renewed hope.
“Well, as you might have heard at some point recently, I now stand before you, seeking a bigger yet similar job.”
He therefore called on the Lagos Business Community to join hands with him to achieve this, stating that a viable economy requires collaboration between the political and business communities.
“Nigeria stands at the threshold between indifference and greatness, prosperity and poverty, the future and the past.
“The door is ajar. Together, let us open it so that we may cross over to the better side and secure for this beloved nation its finer destiny.
“The productive and beneficial things we seek do not lie in the sole domain of one sector. They reside in the cooperation between government and the private sector.
“I see no conflict between the business community and government. Yet, with equal conviction, I believe the private sector and government should constantly be at war.
“But they wage this battle not as enemies. They must stand as inseparable allies combating the mutual enemies of scarcity, underdevelopment, joblessness and the fear these bad things breed.
“The pragmatic problem solving and teamwork that improved Lagos, I want to bring to this nation.
“I ask your help as the task ahead is doable but also difficult,” he added.
He empathised that the nation needed to move from dependence on exporting its raw materials to nations who sell the finished products to us at exorbitant prices to one that refines its raw materials for upward export itself.
Praising the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for its patriotism and commitment, he itemised his administration plans to build on their achievements.
These, he said include reviving dead industries, promote agriculture, provide power, produce and use made in Nigeria goods, build infrastructure and most importantly improve the country’s security.
“From its very inception, our political economy has been imbalanced and in need of major reform. Our political economy is much too dependent on the export of raw material or unfinished goods and the import of increasingly expensive finished products. Over the course of the time, gains from natural resource exports will prove largely insufficient to meet the rising costs of imports let alone support even the most basic demands of modern democratic governance.
“The time is now to cure this lapse. And time is of the essence for it does not wait for man or nation.
“We commend the work of prior administrations, especially the present government. This government has performed with patriotism and commitment during trying times.
“We simply must go farther and faster. My experiences in both the private sector and elective office afford me a special appreciation of the economic potency that close collaboration between government and the business community can bring.
Outlining what he described as insight into his vision for a more prosperous and secure nation where hope is renewed and despair rebuffed, Tinubu said he saved security which, according to him, is the single most important point for last.
He promised to fight insecurity by redefining the country’s counterinsurgency doctrine and practice.
On his government’s response to terror, kidnapping and violent criminality, he said it would be defined by two elements.
“We shall enlist more people in the armed forces, security services and the police. Our forces will be given better tactical communications, mobility as well as improved aerial and ground surveillance capacity.
“Through these and other measures, we shall better identify, monitor, track, and defeat these evil groups where they are. They shall have no respite until they surrender or are utterly defeated,” he added.