President Bola Tinubu on Friday in Abuja said his administration is open to identifying and removing obstacles to make the Nigerian economy more investible.
He said the ongoing economic reforms would be styled to favour Nigerian youths.
“We are ready to remove bottlenecks to investments in the economy,” Tinubu told a delegation from MTN led by Group Chairman, Mcebisi Jonas, at the State House.
The President’s Special Adviser on Special Duties, Communications and Strategy, Dele Alake, revealed this in a statement he signed late Friday, titled ‘We’ll remove bottlenecks to investments, reposition economy to favour youth population, says President Tinubu.’
He assured the manufacturing and service sectors that more reforms would be unfolded to enable efficiency and attract investments, saying the ongoing economic “revolution” would be deliberately steered to capture and favour teeming youths in the country.
His remarks come hours after he signed four Executive Orders suspending the five per cent excise tax on telecommunication services and the excise duties escalation on locally-manufactured items.
The President also approved the establishment of a Presidential Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reform, appointing Fiscal Policy Partner and Africa Tax Leader at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Mr Taiwo Oyedele, as its chairman.
Addressing the MTN delegation, the President said, “We have a responsibility to revolutionise the economy so that our youths can share in the prosperity of the nation; otherwise, we are only waiting for the dreams to be charted.”
“If you have any problems or impediments, do let us know. We are ready to remove bottlenecks to investments in the economy,” he noted while acknowledging the sweeping changes worldwide, primarily driven by technology.
President Tinubu reasoned that the growing rural-urban migration could only be controlled with more investments in digital technology that would directly improve healthcare systems and education for the poor.
“I am happy you are moving from Corporate Social Responsibility to being more incisive and inquisitive with technology so that we can see how we can partner structurally.
“You can do a lot for the economy by partnering with us. We believe no one can succeed alone.
“The structural adjustments we are making are to ensure we face the right direction and arrive at a destination that caters to our people,” the President stated.
He said the Federal Government will work with the telecom giant to ensure that Nigerians share in the resulting prosperity.
“We will, together, build a well-informed society. We have to re-assess the journey.
“I am glad that the stock market is responding positively to the structural adjustments,” he added.
The MTN Group Chairman said the company plans to invest $3.5bn in the economy over the next five years, with a broader vision of becoming a pan-African company by moving investments from the Middle East and focusing more on Africa, especially Nigeria, where it gets the highest return on investment.
Jonas congratulated the President for the upswing of interest in the country within a short period since he assumed office on May 29, 2023, promising to support the mobilisation of other investors with about $1.5tn to look towards Nigeria, where reforms had been designed to favour business and encourage inclusive development.
He said, “The message you have given us is that Nigeria is investible, and with your election, we are seeing decisive, prompt and keen interest in structural reforms.”
The Group President/CEO of MTN, Ralph Mupita, Chairman of MTN Nigeria, Ernest Ndukwe and Chief Executive Officer, Olutokun Toriola, were at the meeting.