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    PoliticsI’ll unbundle transmission to provide power, says Tinubu

    By Abdul lawal

    WITH an assurance to drive economic activities with steady power supply, the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, yesterday laid his action plan for the country before the business community in Lagos.

    He said his administration, if elected into office, would grow Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to double digit, which according to him, can only be achieved with uninterrupted electricity.

    Tinubu also spoke of the inevitability of removing the subsidy on petrol.

    It was a reinforcement of his promise at the 7th edition of the Kaduna Economic and Investment Summit (KadInvest 7.0) last month.
    He spoke at a town hall meeting with the business community and members of the Organised Private Sector (OPS) at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

    The platform afforded business leaders, and captains of industry, the economic players and thought leaders in the private sector the opportunity to interact with the presidential candidate and interrogate his action plan for the country.

    At the meeting were President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote; Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc., Jim Ovia; Chairman of United Bank for Africa (UBA), Tony Elumelu; former Chief Executive of Access Bank, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede; and Group Chief Executive of Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe.

    Other business leaders from agriculture, oil and gas, trade, manufacturing and creative sector, among others, were also present.

    Tinubu told his audience that double digit GDP growth, when achieved, will not only stimulate the economy, but reduce poverty rate.

    The former Lagos State governor stressed his determination to accomplish the feat by ensuring the revival of dead industries, promote agriculture, provide power, produce and use made-in Nigeria goods, build infrastructure and most importantly, improve the country’s security.
    He said: “We shall bring the nation’s industrial policy to life. Key to this is our aim to create major and minor industrial hubs in each geopolitical zone.

    “We shall not be satisfied by bolstering traditional sectors; we will foster productive excellence in new areas such as light manufacturing and the entertainment sector.

    “We shall continue to press reforms in the agriculture sector that will increase productivity, improve farm incomes while lowering food prices and bringing enough food to the tables of ordinary people.”

    Tinubu said through active participation in digital economy, his administration will make Nigeria a leader, instead of a bystander, in the fourth industrial revolution.

    Admitting that without steady and reliable electricity supply, the envisaged double-digit GDP growth and other deliverables will not be possible, he assured the business community of his determination to provide affordable and reliable power needed to drive businesses.

    On how he plans to turn around the fortunes of the power sector, Tinubu said the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) would be decentralized.
    The TCN is the only segment of the power sector remaining under the control of the Federal Government.
    Tinubu also promised to sustain the efforts to tackle insecurity in the country.

    He said: “We shall continue the fight against insecurity by redefining our counter-insurgency doctrine and practice.

    “Our response to terror, kidnapping and violent criminality will be defined by the following 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.”
    Tracing the path of Lagos economic growth under his administration, Tinubu affirmed that having achieved similar success, he can replicate same in the country as president.

    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 the 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 Nigerians 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 for 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.”

    Throwing a challenge at the business community to join hands with him to achieve his dream of a more prosperous economy, he insisted that a viable economy requires collaboration between the political and business communities.

    He said: “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.”

    Applauding the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for its patriotism and commitment, Tinubu spoke of his plans to build on the achievements, even as he admitted that the nation’s political economy needed a major reform.

    He said: “From its 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 materials or unfinished goods and the import of increasingly expensive finished products”.

    Tinubu said over 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.

    He added: “The time is now to cure this lapse. And time is of the essence for it does not wait for man or nation.”

    Tinubu’s running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima, noted that the world’s prosperity is tied to Nigeria’s performance as a nation.

    He also re-echoed Tinubu’s stand on actualising the Tinubu/Shettima manifesto.

    He said: “We talk about the fiscal and monetary policy that can be exploited and, of course, we cannot achieve some rapid but necessary sustainable equality tradition without the infrastructure. We plan to partner with you, the private sector, to understand the national campaign for infrastructure to improve the quality of life.

    “We will continue to confer with you to ensure we’re providing you with the supporting requirements to succeed and implement policies that will favour business. We expect to significantly improve the education sector by focusing on the following key indices – access, funding, management, effectiveness and competitiveness.

    “The key is to ensure there’s quality education for all, technical and vocational education, as well as tertiary education, will be placed on a solid and sustainable path. We are confident that this improvement will also yield significant policy results.

    “We are not promising you heaven on earth, but we are promising a hope for a better tomorrow.”

    Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu described
    Tinubu as a compassionate, intelligent and visionary leader, who contributed immensely to the development of Lagos and Nigeria.

    According to him, Tinubu pioneered the private sector engagement in Lagos ‘which has brought progress and facilitated various socio-economic development agenda. He has what it takes to move the country forward with a renewed hope for the future while bringing prosperity to Nigeria.

    Other dignitaries at the event include: APC National Secretary Otunba Iyiola Omisore; Director-General of the Presidential Campaign Council (PCC)/Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong; Governors Gboyega Oyetola (Osun); Dapo Abiodun (Ogun); Abdulrahman AbdulRazaq (Kwara); Abubakar Bagudu (Kebbi); Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna); Hope Uzodimma (Imo, who was represented) Chief Olusegun Osoba and former Bauchi State Governor Mohammed Abubakar.

    Also at the event were Lagos State Deputy Governor Obafemi Hamzat; Diaspora Commission Chairman Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa; APC Youth Leader Dayo Israel; the Oniru of Iru Land, Oba Gbolahan Abdulwasiu Lawal; Femi Fani-Kayode and former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazzau, among others.

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