President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated the determination of his administration to stop importation of basic items to create job opportunities for unemployed citizens across the country.
The President stated this when he received leadership of the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) led by its acting President, Mr Taiwo Adeniyi, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He also revealed that the Federal Government had put in place various measures and sustainable platform for businesses to succeed in the country.
Buhari said: “Nigeria is a blessed country with abundant resources. We have all it takes locally to meet our most basic needs.
“Our history of unnecessary importation of the most basic items meant we were exporting jobs to other countries at the expense of our own citizens.
“This administration is determined and taking steps to bring these jobs back to Nigeria. Our policies are simply designed for that.
“There is no doubt, the implementation of such policies will not be hitch free. As you have pointed out, there are challenges in some areas that need to be addressed.
“I want to assure you that we are looking into these and other matters to ensure we have a sustainable platform for businesses to succeed.’’
The President, however, observed that the journey toward achieving this feat was a long one that requires patience, understanding and perseverance.
He, therefore, enjoined members of the association to continue to engage government by providing honest and constructive feedback, saying “together, we can build a Nigeria that we will all be proud of.’’
Buhari also assured that the Federal government would continue to do its best to support the members of the association in their efforts as employers of labour.
In his remarks, Adeniyi revealed that, for over 60 years, NECA had been the voice of business on diverse issues aimed at improving the business environment for enterprises to survive and flourish in the country.
He commended the President for signing Executive Orders 001, 003 and 007, which he said had improved the performance of the manufacturing sector and patronage of made-in-Nigeria products.
Adeniyi also lauded Buhari for his support to the Real Sector through the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Also for his refusal to sign the African Continental Free Trade Agreement until the concerns of stakeholders were addressed as well as for assenting to the new National Minimum Wage Bill.
Adeniyi, who later spoke to State House correspondents after the meeting, confirmed that over 70 per cent of members of the association had been paying the approved N30,000 new minimum wage to their workers.