President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday reviewed his administration’s economic policies, warning that they may be hurtful “in the short run”.
In the long run, things will be better, the President said in New Delhi, India, where he is attending the Third Indian-Africa Forum, a meeting of unprecedented scale, with more than 50 African leaders in attendance.
He was addressing the Chief Executives of Indian companies with interests in Nigeria.
Despite the fall in oil prices, his administration, he said, remained committed to maintaining macro-economic stability and improving investors’ confidence in Nigeria.
“What is required of us, to which we are strongly committed, is the implementation of tight expenditure controls, effective fiscal and monetary policies, including the husbandry of scarce resources which our introduction of the Single Treasury Account has began to address.
“We are aware some of these measures may hurt operations of some businesses in the short term, but we believe they are right for a sustainable economy,” he said.
Stressing that India has been a dependable ally of Nigeria, Buhari urged the Chief Executives to expand their companies’ investments in Nigeria ”so that we can, together, turn our engagements into a win-win situation for our two countries.”
Buhari also urged the Indian CEOs to accept the changes in policy being introduced by his administration and observe all extant Nigerian laws in running their businesses in the country.
The President warned that his administration would not tolerate the importation of sub-standard goods, especially foods and medicines, into Nigeria.
The President also yesterday had bilateral talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
India pledged to buy more oil from Nigeria without intermediaries to make the process more transparent.
A high-ranking diplomat said: “The Prime Minister said India is ready to double its oil imports from Nigeria if there is more transparency. The Indian government wants to buy directly from the Federal Government and pay through the Single Treasury Account (TSA) instead of the practice of directing us to intermediaries.”
”On the economy, our aim is to address the challenge of infrastructure in all its ramifications, especially power and transportation. We are seeking to create jobs through agriculture, mining, industrial value-addition and the promotion of small scale enterprises.”
“I wish to assure you that we shall do our best to fix the economy, create jobs for the teeming population of our youths and make the home environment safe, secure and more attractive to Nigerians outside the country like your good selves.