I may reverse Jonathan economic policies, says Buhari
’No pressure can stop anti-graft moves’
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari yesterday gave a fresh indication that he might be forced to reverse or if possible, abandon some inherited economic policies from the past administration, if doing so would lead to the creation of more jobs for Nigerians.
The President stated this during a meeting at the Presidential Villa with the Executive members of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN).
Meanwhile, the President said that all persons charged with stealing the nation’s resources will have their day in court and that, upon conviction, their ill-gotten wealth will be seized and returned to government coffers.
Buhari directed the Ministries of Industries, Trade and Investment, and Finance, as well as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other relevant government agencies to evolve before next year’s budget, new policies to boost domestic manufacturing.
According to him “We are in difficult times economically, but we’ll continue to do our best for manufacturing to pick up. We must begin to behave as if we have no oil at all. “We will gladly have policy somersaults, if it will mean more jobs, particularly for youths.
I campaigned on three major planks. To effectively secure our country, provide employment through revamping the economy, and wage a relentless war against corruption.
I intend to keep faith with these promises,” the President assured Nigerians that no amount of pressure will make him give up the war against corruption in the country.
He lamented that the textile industry that employed about 320,000 people in the past only parades about 30,000 now. “It shows the carelessness of past governments, if almost 300,000 people lose jobs in a single sector.
We have a clear idea of how we can stimulate employment and we will work very hard to do so,” Buhari added . The MAN President, Dr Frank Udemba Jacobs had appealed for a review of policies that stifle the manufacturing sector, noting that the importance of a robust manufacturing sector for the general well-being of the economy cannot be over-emphasized.
In an address to a group of Nigerians who marched to the Presidential Villa to pledge their full support for his administration’s anti-corruption campaign, Buhari, however, promised a relentless prosecution of the war against corruption with due regard for the rule of law. Buhari stressed that the time has come for a real change, saying “I believe it is time for Nigeria to change course.
That is why I sought election as President and got elected. As President, I am determined that Nigeria must move away from a course of endemic corruption that was leading us to perdition. “There can be no question of our willfully allowing anyone to get away with corruption.
No matter the pressure and entreaties, the anti-corruption war will continue and all accused persons will have their day in court,” the President said.
Welcoming the support of the group – Nigerians March Against Corruption, President Buhari, who was represented by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Femi Adesina, also reaffirmed his commitment to curbing insecurity in the country and boosting employment opportunities for Nigerians, especially the youth.
He called for continued support and solidarity of Nigerians as his administration works to correct the wrongs of the past. The Nigerians March Against Corruption led by Aisha Yesufu had condemned recent statements by some individuals against the President’s anti-corruption campaign.
They assured the President that vast majority of ordinary Nigerians fully support his ongoing efforts to curb corruption, and urged him not to be deterred by the antics of those who do not share his laudable vision of a fairer, more equitable, corruption-free and progressive nation.