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Traders set agenda for incoming government


Ken Ukaoha

Ken Ukaoha,

IN what seems to be an eight-point agenda for the President-elect and his team after the May 29th hand over date, the National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) has outlined their expectations and areas they desire quick and decisive interventions.

Citing key sectors that require urgent interventions in the country, the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, has been advised to appoint technocrats and experts into key ministerial positions, which would turn the future of the country around.

Highlighting some of the sectors, which include education, health, finance, power, economy, the oil and gas sector and others, President of the association, Ken Ukaoha, in Abuja, yesterday said the President-elect should be aware that Nigerians has put so much trust in him, believing that he would not appoint political jobbers and defectors who have nothing to offer the nation.

He said it was on this premise that the citizens voted for him in the election. According to Ukaoha, Gen. Buhari would do the nation a lot of good if he can appoint 80 percent technocrats as ministers as against the way politicians do in order to compensate themselves for whatever contributions they made to their parties.

His words, “Mr. President-elect must consider for ministers technocrats to develop our economic sector, our education, our finances and our power output and not political jobbers who have shown little knowledge and commitment on how to advance the Nigerian state.

In making this consideration, party politics must be shoved aside in order to provide Nigerians the kind of leadership composed of best brains and committed servants.”

The association also called on General Buhari to look into the policies of the out-going government and see how it could consolidate on some of them.

He cited the auto policy that would facilitate the production of vehicles in Nigeria to reduce avoidable imports and capital flight, the growth enhancement scheme that provides inputs for farmers, local content policy that would retain and generate more jobs for the teeming unemployed population, the national rice policy targeted at increasing local production of rice, the power sector project and invention.

They also want the incoming government to see to the public administration reforms, noting that no meaningful development can be achieved if government continues to run over-bloated budget over the years where over 78 percent of the nation’s budget and revenue is being spent on recurrent while leaving 20 percent for capital projects, calling for sanity in the budgetary process.

“In order to fast-track the much needed economic development in Nigeria, it has been argued that there is need for conscious transformation of the budgeting procedures. A clear departure from the traditional annual budget often done on incremental basis to a more realistic multi-year budget.”

They said just as they are willing to work with the incoming government, they will not fail in their responsibility to be a watch over its performance bearing in mind the electioneering campaign promises.

“We hold you to your promises made during the election campaigns and would be ready to monitor your progress and constantly remind you, hold you accountable and possibly urge you on as we jointly make the needed progress in this journey of four years.”

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