Tinubu Unveils Economic Stabilisation Programme

President Bola Tinubu has inaugurated the Presidential Economic Coordination Council (PECC) and also launched the Economic Stabilisation Programme to ensure food security, improved power supply, enhanced social welfare and healthcare, increased energy production, and overall economic transformation.

At the inaugural meeting of the 31-member Council held at the Council Chambers in Abuja, President Tinubu, who chairs the Council, in a statement by presidential spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale underscored the need for innovative solutions to the country’s economic challenges, noting the importance of public-private partnerships in driving economic reforms.

‘’We have the challenge of energy security in Nigeria. We need to work together to improve our oil and gas sector, and we must also increase electricity generation and distribution throughout the country.
‘’We are determined to do that with your cooperation, collaboration, and recommendations. As a nation, it is so shameful that we are still generating 4.5GW of electricity.

‘’We must increase our oil production to two (2) million barrels per day within the next few months and we are determined to remove all entry barriers to investments in the energy sector while enhancing competitiveness,’’ the President stated.

President Tinubu announced measures to stabilise the economy, enhance job creation, and foster economic security. These measures will run concurrently with the National Construction and Household Support Programme.

The measures under the Economic Stabilisation Programme are as follows: The Energy Security Initiative, which includes power, oil and gas, aims to increase on-grid electricity to be delivered to homes and businesses from about 4.5 gigawatts to 6 gigawatts in six months; increase oil production to 2 million barrels per day within the next 12 months; and remove barriers to entry for investments into the sector to enhance competitiveness.

Under agriculture and food security, the government plans to increase staple crops grown by small-holder farmers from 127 million MT in 2023 to 135 million metric tonnes this year, bolster production by partnering with larger-scale commercial farmers, and support qualified farmers with satellite imagery for land use planning, crop rotation, and monitoring of agricultural expansion.

In the health and social welfare sector, the federal government said it would make essential medicines available at a lower cost for 80-90 million Nigerians; expand healthcare insurance coverage for one million vulnerable people via a Vulnerable Group Fund in collaboration with state governments; redeploy 20,000 healthcare workers to provide services to 10-12 million patients in areas where they are most urgently needed and power up 4,800 primary healthcare centres (PHCs), second tier, and third tier hospitals using renewable energy sources.

Some of the interventions to improve access to finance for the housing sector, MSMEs, and the manufacturing sector are youth-owned enterprises: Support for new and existing youth-owned enterprises across all 36 states of the federation, create 7,400 MSMEs within the next six to 12 months;
MSME support: A N650 billion facility will provide lower-cost short-term facilities to youth-owned businesses, manufacturers and MSMEs across various industries; food processing, pharmaceutical, agriculture, and wholesale and retail trade. This financing will be based on their current and future receivables, company rating, and market demand for products; a manufacturing Stabilization Fund will rejuvenate up to two hundred and fifty companies and deliver lower cost (9.0 percent to 11.0 percent) long-term facilities to large, medium-scale, and light manufacturers that produce finished goods for domestic and export markets; sub-national Matching Fund: A Grow Nigeria Development Fund consisting of a single-digit interest rate loan portfolio with the Bank of Industry and a matching fund agreement with sub-national governments to grow MSMEs; expand the Bank of Industry’s Rural Development Programme: A fund to support rural economies in developing 300 new MSMEs for each state, including the Federal Capital Territory (Abuja), resulting in 11,100 new rural-based MSMEs across the Federation; mortgage.

Finance Acceleration Facility: A facility that delivers affordable housing for all segments impacted by the cost-of-living challenge. This will support the construction of an additional 25,000 housing units.

These fiscal measures will improve MSMEs’ access to finance and, over a six- to 12-month period, create 4.7 million direct and indirect jobs.

Emphasizing the significance of the task ahead, Vice-President Kashim Shettima, who is the vice-chairman of the council, stated that President Tinubu is committed to proffering solutions to the nation’s economic challenges and not apportioning blame.

‘’I want to emphasize that there is always a way when there is a will, and the President does not believe in apportioning blame. He believes in preparing solutions,” the Vice-President said.

The coordinating minister of economy and minister of finance, Mr. Wale Edun, made a presentation on the highlights of the Accelerated Stabilization and Advancement Plan that was earlier submitted to the President.

The plan detailed economic issues to be resolved in 2024 by sub-committees in the key sectors of agriculture and food security, energy (oil, gas, power), health and social welfare, and business support.

Speaking to State House correspondents after the meeting, the chairman of Heirs Holdings and an economist, Tony Elumelu, said the president’s target of two billion barrels of crude oil production per day is achievable.

He underscored the need to improve power generation in Nigeria.

“All of these are about creating prosperity for our people; it is all about creating economic hope and creating jobs for our young ones.

“So, we hope that with the private sector working with the FG, things will begin to improve. That is the aspiration, and the money approved now for disbursement is all targeted to achieving a better life.”

President Dangote Foundation, Aliko Dangote, pledged the support of the private sector in investing in job creation for Nigerians.

He emphasised the place of policy implementation, adding that the personalities of PECC members are equipped enough to advise the government on the right policies.

“The council will advise the government on the kind of policies to roll out. Most of these things we have, and they’ve already been discussed over and over again, and I think with the choice of people in the committee, they are good enough to advise the government to know how to implement policies.

Other members of the council are the Senate President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, twelve ministers, and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Members from the Organized Private sector include: Alhaji Aliko Dangote; Mr. Tony Elumelu; Alhaji Abdul Samad Rabiu; Ms. Amina Maina, Mr. Segun Ajayi-Kadir; Dr. Funke Opeke; Dr. Doyin Salami; Mr. Patrick Okigbo; Mr. Kola Adesina; Mr. Segun Agbaje; Mr. Chidi Ajaere; Mr. Abdulkadir Aliu; and Mr. Rasheed Sarumi.

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