New Presidential Council In Nigeria To Turn Around Economy Includes Billionaires Dangote And Rabiu

Published 6 days ago
Nigerians struggle with the cost of living
A view from Wuse Bazaar in Abuja, Nigeria on February 18, 2024. Nigeria's inflation rate accelerated further in January and reached almost 30% in annual terms, driven by soaring food costs and the fall of the country's naira currency to lows. The Nigerian Labor Congress (NLC) has announced nationwide protests against the economic problems and deteriorating security situation in the country. (Photo by Emmanuel Osodi/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote and other members of a new 31-member economic council will meet and report monthly to Nigeria’s President, who has presented an emergency plan for the next six months.

Aliko Dangote, President of the Dangote Group, expressed optimism about Nigeria’s economic future following his recent inauguration into the Presidential Economic Coordination Council (PECC) by President Bola Tinubu at the State House in Abuja, the country’s Federal Capital Territory.

The council includes a mix of government officials, top private sector players, and consultants, such as Dangote; Abdulsamad Rabiu, founder of BUA Group and Nigeria’s third wealthiest individual; and Tony Elumelu, Chairman of the United Bank for Africa (UBA).

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PECC; image courtesy Dangote Group

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, has been grappling with economic issues such as high unemployment rates, inflation, and infrastructural deficits. The new council, as outlined by Wale Edun, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, aims to tackle these challenges head-on with interventions amounting to nearly ₦2 trillion (approximately $1.3 billion). This includes investments in sectors such as gas.

“You can see intervention in gas. What the Honourable Minister said earlier on, getting [Obiafu-Obrikom-Oben gas pipeline project] OB3 alone to work will have an additional $2 billion inward into the economy. It will help,” Dangote explained to the press, referring to the $700 million gas pipeline project in southern Nigeria, which, upon its proposed completion in August, is expected to enhance gas supply, boost industrial activities, and generate substantial revenue.

“Our role in the private sector is to invest heavily and create jobs. The government doesn’t really create jobs; they provide the right policies, which we now have,” the founder and chair of Dangote Cement, the continent’s largest cement producer, added.

He also stressed the need for collaborative efforts to implement effective economic policies. “I think the choice of people we have at this presidential economic coordinating committee is good enough to advise the government on how to implement.”

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Despite the nation’s current economic woes, Dangote remains optimistic about Nigeria’s potential for rapid recovery and growth. “Our issues are not that bad. This economy can be turned around within a few months, and I think we’re on that path…we’ll start meeting immediately, and I assure you, you’ll see a lot of changes coming.

“I know everyone is in a hurry, but we have what it takes to turn this economy around. Things are not going to be bad. We’re not going to hit rock bottom; instead, we’re going to rise and make every Nigerian proud to be Nigerian,” Dangote said.