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MTN CEO, ex-NBA President set agenda for next Nigerian President

By Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze, Abuja
18 November 2022   |   7:57 am
The Chief Executive Officer, of MTN Nigeria, Karl Toriola, has set the agenda for the next Nigerian President.
Karl Toriola

Karl

*Expect him to fix power, appoint skilled technocrats, others

The Chief Executive Officer, of MTN Nigeria, Karl Toriola, has set the agenda for the next Nigerian President.

Toriola stated that the first action any candidate that wins the 2023 Presidential election should take is to constitute his cabinet with a combination of very skilled technocrats and some elements of politicians who understand how policies affect the direction of the country and can develop the right policies to drive the country in the right direction.

He stated that by appointing the right people into his cabinet, the President will immediately restore confidence in the stock market and the nation’s economy will bounce back.

According to him, the next president should also fix oil production within the first 100 days in office, fix oil production so that the country can generate foreign exchange.

“He should also fix multiple exchange rates so that foreign direct investors can come into the country and there will be free flow of capital, commit to clarity and consistency in terms of his policies.”

Also, the immediate past President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Olumide Akpata, collaborated the earlier position that the first thing the next President should do is to assemble the right people to deal with the issues confronting the nation and hit the ground running by tackling the problem of energy headlong in other to fire up the economy.

Speaking during a panel session at the Nigeria Economic Summit Group conference with the theme, ‘ 2023 and Beyond: Priorities for Shared Prosperity”, Toriola argued that there is not much the next President of Nigeria can do to change the trajectory in the first 100 days other than ensuring that the right people and the right leadership team are brought on board to make positive changes.

He stated that part of the immediate actions to take by the next administration in the first 100 days in office is to improve on the ease of doing business and stabilize the Forex rate, allowing capital to flow freely in and out of the country as well as address multiple taxations.

He said, “The security of lives and property is the primary aim of the government and without a secured operating environment.

“The private sector cannot achieve the goals we aspire to achieve in an unsecured environment.

“The next President should harness the human capital potentials of Nigerians and set up developmental and educational institutions that address the opportunities of the future and ensure consistency in policies.”

Adding; “Policy stability, consistency and clarity is what the private sector wants”.

In his submission, the immediate past President of, the Nigerian Bar Association, Olumide Akpata, said: We have no business spending our money on anything else. Whatever money we have should be used to fire up the economy.”

Akpata observed that to fire up the economy and get the people engaged with a reasonable assurance that they can conduct their businesses in a safe environment, things will pick up and the economy will bounce back.

He said, “There are short, medium and long-term solutions to power. It is a joke that we are still dancing around 4,500 megawatts of electricity under this economy. So, any government that comes into power in 2023 should begin to deal with the short-term issues regarding power under the first 100 days in office.

“We have a resilient population that is ready to go out there and get things done; the challenge is the government’s inability to provide an enabling environment.

“If I were the President and I can’t deal with power, shoot me. I don’t understand why we are still talking about power. As a lawyer, I got into the power space in 1999 or so, during the privatization of the power sector but to think that we are worse off now is unfortunate.

So, fixing the power sector is the first step to ensure that small businesses survive because the bulk of our population is in that sector”, Akpata said.

He went on to identify security as another issue that requires urgent attention, stressing that the security of lives and property is the primary aim of government.

He added that in dealing with such issues, mediocrity or non-performance should not be encouraged.

“There must be accountability, and those handling our security must be held to account. And if they don’t perform, you get rid of them.

“A jailbreak happened in the heart of Abuja and 3000 prisoners were let loose on the Abuja population and somebody is still there answering Comptroller something or Minister. No, there must be sanctions. We must let people know that it is either you do the job or you ship out, if you cannot deal with security, you have no business being there.”

“In Nigeria, as far as we are concerned, the problem is not that officials are corrupt but that corruption is official. So, if you pursue corruption, you will be wasting your time because there are certain building blocks that you have to put in place before you can go after corruption.

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