Economic hardship: What Tinubu told Dangote, Rabiu, Elumelu, others inside Presidential Villa

President Bola Tinubu had a crucial meeting with some members of the organised private sector on Sunday.

The meeting was held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

Those in the meeting include Alhaji Aliko Dangote, President, Dangote Groups; Tony Elumelu, Chairman, Heirs Holding and Transcorp Plc; Abdulsamad Rabiu, Chairman, BUA Group; Wale Tinubu, and other members of the private sector.

This is coming amid the economic hardship being faced by Nigerians.

The current hardship is occasioned by the rise in the exchange rate of dollars to naira.

The host, President Tinubu, told the participants that all stakeholders must look at “what we’re doing right and what we’re doing wrong to bring life back to the economy.”

Tinubu said: “We are very concerned, from students to mothers and fathers, farmers, and traders, and realising that every one of us will have to fetch water from the same well. ⁣

“We’re looking for additional efforts that might help the downtrodden Nigerians and we will provide that hope and reassurance that economic recovery is on its way. ⁣

“We are not saying that we have all the answers. But we will not be blamed for not trying. We assure Nigerians that we will do our best to get our Marshall Plan in place and fashion out the best economic future for this country.”

Emerging from the meeting, Dangote told reporters that it was quite fruitful, as issues bedevilling the Nigerian state, including food, insecurity and the economy, were deliberated upon during the meeting.

He said: “I think we had a very, very good meeting and what we discussed was generally about the economy, food security and security of the nation.

“We discussed everything in detail. And there is the economic Presidential Advisory Committee, which has been set up and I think this will look at all the issues and address them, coming from job creation and food security.

“So, all these things have been discussed in detail. I can’t give you all the details right now, but we are hopeful and we’re a great nation. We have what it takes to turn around the economy and we’re going to do that.”

Also reacting, Abdulsamad Rabiu said it was an open and frank talk about national issues affecting the country.

“It was open, it was frank and it was exhaustive. And some of the issues we discussed for example, like the foreign exchange rate, which we know has always been the problem for the past two or three months.

“We discussed how to bring the foreign exchange rate down because we all know that what is happening as regards the foreign exchange is artificial; it is manipulative and thank God the CBN is doing quite a lot.

“Now, the exchange rate has come down from N1800 to maybe N1600 and N1500 now, and as you all know, everything in Nigeria is indexed to the foreign exchange, especially when it comes to stuff that we import into the country,” the BUA chief executive stated.

“I left this meeting with a lot of enthusiasm, excitement and optimism about the future of our country. I believe that implementing the decisions we arrived at today will propel our economy, help alleviate poverty in the land, help create employment and help put food on the table,” Elumelu added.

On his part, Charles Soludo said it was a tripartite meeting designed to put heads together and think together.

He said Nigeria has one national economy, and it’s the responsibility of the 225 million Nigerians to work together to make it great. We have all the potential and all that it takes to make Nigeria ride through these turbulent times and put the economy back on a sustainable level.

“I think there is unity of purpose, determination, a sense of patriotism and determination by all to make it happen and by the special grace of God, it’s now execution. And this is a standing committee that will be meeting from time to time to evaluate how things are going and make recommendations to Mr. President and the nation as well,” Soludo added.