President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, received a strategic action plan from experts that would guide his new cabinet in the implementation of development policies over the next four years.
The strategic initiatives were put together after a two-day presidential policy retreat held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Speaking at the retreat, President Buhari said that members of his new cabinet, who are currently being screened by the Senate, would consider the key proposals developed by the experts for possible implementation.
The President said some of the proposals for the government by the experts over the next four years, is to stimulate significant investments in the industrialization of agriculture; develop policies that will facilitate private sector participation in infrastructure projects, and introduce policies and regulatory changes that will unlock growth potentials in the petroleum sector – both upstream and downstream.
Other proposals from the retreat, according to the President, are for the Federal Government to aggressively improve the ease of doing business by reducing bureaucracy and improving inter agency collaboration; and provide incentives for investors, especially in agriculture and power sectors.
Buhari said the experts recommended for the government to: Facilitate construction of mass and affordable housing to propel economic growth and reduce the massive housing deficit; launch of a consumer credit scheme with the banking sector for citizens to have access to long term and affordable mortgages and consumer credit; and addressing the country’s security challenges by working in collaboration with the private sector.
As explained by the President, his new cabinet will also discuss the need to fix the power sector by addressing some of the regulatory uncertainties and operational shortcomings of the key players; drive efficiency in public service delivery through realignment of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and implementation of e-governance solutions.
Buhari said: “As you are aware, some of my ministerial nominees are currently undergoing their screening at the National Assembly. God willing, the proposals from this session will be discussed and finalized with them in the coming weeks as they take on their portfolios.”
He noted that although most of the proposals were targeted at the Federal Government, the state governors should strive to do their part, especially in the areas of education and health care, which are within their constitutional responsibilities.
President Buhari added that the collective goal of government at all levels is to implement initiatives that will lift citizens out of poverty through mass employment and social safety nets.
“This is achievable with the right fundamentals in place. We must all keep in mind that a successful economy is one where prosperity is felt by the majority,” he noted.
The dialogue sessions were also attended by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, governors, senior presidency officials, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), invited local and foreign experts as well heads of critical government agencies.