In Bloomberg article, Buhari outlines plans to boost ailing economy

President Muhammadu Buhari addressing World Leaders at the 71st General Assembly of United Nations in New York 7000/21/9/2016/ICE/HB/BJO/NAN
President Muhammadu Buhari addressing World Leaders at the 71st General Assembly of United Nations in New York 7000/21/9/2016/ICE/HB/BJO/NAN

President Muhammadu Buhari was a guest writer on Tuesday for Bloomberg, the US business and financial information company.

The article titled, Making Africa Rising a Reality was published on BloombergView, on a day Mr. Buhari also unfolded the investor-friendly agenda of his administration to the US-Africa Business Forum in New York.

Here is President Buhari’s article:

Until a few years ago, Africa Rising was a dominant theme in conversations about the global economy. That enthusiasm has since cooled, so that in newsrooms and think tanks and conference panels, “Africa Rising!” has given way to a more questioning “Africa Rising?”

While some of that pessimism may be justified, we do not have the luxury of distracting ourselves with lamentations about our current circumstances. Instead of hoping for commodity prices to rise, African countries should seize the opportunities that these times present — not least here at today’s U.S.-Africa Business Forum — to lay a foundation for the kind of economic growth that transforms the lives of our people.

One of our biggest challenges during the boom years was that we failed to convert the benefits of high commodity prices into more jobs and significant improvements in standards of living. Hence the great debate, during those years, about how to ensure that the growth became “inclusive.”

Now that we are face to face with the vulnerabilities somehow hidden during the years of plenty, we should turn away from the unhelpful habits of the past and chart a new course. Since I signed the 2016 budget into law in May, Nigeria’s Ministry of Finance has released more than 400 billion naira for infrastructure spending — more than the total amount spent in 2015.

In the face of dwindling oil revenues, we are turning to debt. We have begun raising a $1 billion Eurobond, our first in three years. We are also raising debt from the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the Chinese Ex-Im Bank and other development finance partners.

Unlike in the past, when borrowed funds were frittered away on unproductive ventures, we will ensure their investment in the revival of stalled road, rail, power and port projects, and in agricultural initiatives that will significantly boost domestic production of food. For far too long we have under-invested in infrastructure — the most critical element for creating sustainable economic growth. The net effect: an avoidably high cost of doing business in Nigeria.

But even more important than what the government is able to spend is the limitless investment potential of the private sector. This is why one of our main priorities is creating an environment in which private-sector capital can thrive. We are in particular using Public-Private Partnership models to support game-changing private-sector projects in power, refining, gas transportation and fertilizer production.

We are also putting in place measures to ensure that monies intended to revamp our infrastructure do not end up in the pockets of corrupt officials and their collaborators. Already we are investigating the theft of several billion dollars in public funds by the previous administration. We are not only bringing these corrupt officials to justice, we are also setting up systems to make it impossible for such a grievous abuse of public trust to happen again. And of course, we are as committed to playing by the rule of law as we are to accounting for every naira and recovering them for our treasury. These were funds meant to build roads and railway lines and hospitals and schools, and to equip our military — which has for the last seven years been fighting one of the deadliest terrorist groups in the world.

In that regard, we are already seeing the positive results of our anti-corruption efforts. Long starved of both materiel and morale by the corruption in the military’s upper echelons, our reinvigorated troops have now put Boko Haram permanently on the back foot. Some of the more than 2 million persons displaced by Boko Haram have started returning to their homes. Just last week, the people of Nigeria’s northeast celebrated their first incident-free Eid in years.

Our troops have rescued thousands of men, women and children trapped in areas held by Boko Haram. To meet their urgent humanitarian needs, we are working with the United Nations and other partners to provide food, medical help and shelter. We will strive to ensure that no victim is left behind, including the 219 Chibok girls who have, since their abduction in April 2014, served as a global symbol of the war against Boko Haram and a reminder of the horrors that it has inflicted on innocent Nigerians.

Even though the times are still dire, our economic recovery plan is already showing positive results. Investment’s share in gross domestic product is at its highest since 2010. Inflation is slowing; manufacturing confidence is rising. People are seeing and seizing opportunities to make money catering to the needs of Africa’s most populous country. Finally, our Social Investment Program — the most ambitious in Nigeria’s history — will kick off this month. In its first year it will provide cash transfers to 1 million of our poorest people, hot meals to 5 million primary-school children, cheap loans to more than 1 million artisans and traders, and job opportunities in health care, agriculture and software and hardware development for half a million young people.

The journey ahead remains long and difficult. Our double-digit inflation, currency turmoil and downgraded ratings will not vanish overnight. We also know that the current recession is partly driven by the production outages in Nigeria’s Delta region, and we are confident that growth will accelerate as problems in that region are resolved.

But the real story here is not the challenges, which are all too visible, but the opportunities. We have learned the necessary lessons. We will ensure that Nigeria does not slip back into a lazy and dangerous dependence on the price of crude oil. We will continue to insist on transparency and accountability in the use of government funds. And we will build an economy that prioritizes the ease of doing business and investing, and that thrives on the entrepreneurial energy and ingenuity of our people.

To achieve these objectives, Nigeria needs robust and reliable partnerships such as we have with the United States. This is why I value the Commercial and Investment Policy Dialogue that we have just launched, and which we shall announce at today’s U.S.-Africa Business Forum.

The months ahead will show not only that Nigeria is on the rise, but that this “Rising” is real and lasting — one that touches not just the statistical databases, but the lives of the people who elected us to deliver positive change.

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  • TrueFairGame

    Nice one. Touches a lot. Credit to Nigeria

  • Kudo

    Action speaks louder than voice

  • evidence

    Long on rhetoric,short on substance; he has travelled over 30 times in less than 2 years and it’s always the same narrative; hot air.
    Articulate a clear and sound economic policy and a time line for implementation.
    The year is almost gone and the budget is yet to be implemented, you’re borrowing trillions and scheming to sell national assets after purportedly recovering looted trillions.
    This man is an abomination.

    • musa aliyu

      Just the way you are a pestilence.

      • evidence

        Suicide bomber candidate, don’t you have somewhere to blow up? Your 72 virgins await you in hell.

        • Paul Young

          That’s very inappropriate Sir. No matter how we feel personally, some issues should never be said in a public forum like this. We should try to respect ourselves

          • evidence

            Buzz off. It is now you realize we should respect ourselves. Clown.

          • Paul Young

            I can imagine the values you teach your kids. Shame!

          • evidence

            My kids know better than to vote for an illiterate relic that has take Nigeria back to the dark days, which is more than I can say for you, much less your children. ‎

          • Paul Young

            My comment has nothing to do with your hatred for buhari, you are entitled to your own opinion on that, that’s why we are in a democratic society. My comment was in response to your distasteful comment you made to musa aliyu. If you can’t find anything wrong in it then I have nothing more to say to you. Tomorrow when your kids grow up very hateful of everything and everyone, don’t be surprised where they got the trait from, just look in the mirror

          • evidence

            Who cares what you think or feel? Your fulani master insulted me first anf I replied in kind but you conveniently did not see that part because you have sold your brain for a bowl of fura.
            My kids are actually very intelligent than you’ll ever be and my kids are no slaves to fulanis. ‎
            Moron.‎

          • franknaija

            I don’t think so

          • evidence

            You don’t think. End of story.

      • Chukwuka Okoroafor

        But didn’t you oppose Jonathan for a lot of the same policies? I am no fan of Jonathan, but I just have to ask.

  • Decimator

    This Train has no destination. Anyone boarding it is doing so at his own risk.Sorry

  • Commentsfile..!!!

    Thanks Mr president, I have total trust
    and equally believe in your ability to guide
    Nigeria to a greater height. but my advice
    to you would be. dont try, never ever try
    to carry everybody along because some
    people are too heavy to carry rather we
    will fetch them when we get there!
    God Bless Nigeria..!

  • Omoba1

    Why does this man continue to address this country from outside the country. It is highly disrespectful and irritating. Are we not the primary stakeholders here? The president has been quiet since the recession and only decided to speak outside the country. Imagine the junk he even spoke about. I wish I can take back my vote and impeach this president.

    • Haba mallam

      Is better than addressing the country from churches the way GEJ did. I think it stands for goodluck ebele Jonathan.

  • I dey hear

    On this ABURI we stand…….

    “Finally, our Social Investment Program — the most ambitious in Nigeria’s
    history — will kick off this month (September, 2016). In its first year it will provide
    cash transfers to 1 million of our poorest people, hot meals to 5
    million primary-school children, cheap loans to more than 1 million
    artisans and traders, and job opportunities in health care, agriculture
    and software and hardware development for half a million young people”.

    …………..President Muhamadu Buhari
    (September 21st, 2016)

    • Omoba1

      These are rhetorics that won’t work. Start in september. September is gone

      • Kaycee

        @disqus_bEE92CgUYu:disqus

        BUHARI even says the meals he will be serving school pupils everyday will be hot………hahahaha!

        Where is the electricity to serve 5 million hot plates of food daily, even forget about the money first?

  • NinjaK

    Abeg which Deputy Director bin do dis wan o????

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  • vagabonds in power

    Aisha Buhari Did Not Meet Obama’s Wife in USA, It Was a Photoshop (SEE PROOF)

    Aisha Buhari Did Not Meet Obama’s Wife in USA -A few Days ago, Aisha Buhari posted a photo of her with Obama’s wife in New York but Nigerians are claiming it was photoshopped pictures.

    • Action Group

      And so what? Why is her meeting Obama’s wife important to you? Please leave sentiments alone and talk more on contemporary issues,thank you busybody.

      • franknaija

        Nice reply

    • Höly Wähala

      Deri Orbuka…
      Where is your proof? Quit gulping ogogoro and tyoing gibberish here, you hia me so? Drunkard!

    • Olatubosun

      Trash

    • dele20

      Nonsensical comment

  • Realitytalk

    PMB is the best president we can ever get and always be the best for us, he think fast and have the best brains around him

    • Olatubosun

      True talk

    • Olatubosun

      Buhari is more better than useless Jonathan
      The king of Niger delta Boyz
      Efcc will still knock at his door

  • Republican in VI

    There seems to be a pivot towards understanding how to deal with this economic crisis, they seem to have learnt so hard lessons. I hope they keep up the pace and do not become complacent.

  • LadyinRed

    @realitytalk, I beg tell them, let them know

    • Olatubosun

      Yes o
      They have known already
      Buhari a Messiah that God sent to us
      We are very proud of him

      • dele20

        No doubt in it

  • Rommel

    If it’s president Jonathan,it would’ve been, “what is this Bloomberg sef?” we are making progress,God bless Nigeria

  • Olatubosun

    We have a very brilliant president
    God bless Nigeria and God bless buhari and his cabinets

    • dele20

      Amen

  • Olatubosun

    Thousands of ghosa our president
    Those pdp e rats will not see this now
    Compare this administration to the previous administration that just spending our money lavishly

    • dele20

      The difference is clear, the previous administration ruined Nigeria

  • Olatubosun

    The previous administration did not save for the raining day
    They siphoned all our money and emptied our resources
    God bless Nigeria

  • dele20

    Kudos to PMB, we Nigerians appreciate your efforts