Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Talking About the Economy - President Jonathan

by Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 8:50am

Certainly inflationary trends do concern me and that is why I personally monitor them. In recent years they have been within manageable bounds and as an administration we intend to gradually bring it down even as we maintain a steady GDP growth. We are looking good for achieving both objectives this year and our projected GDP growth of 7% is amongst the best projections in the world for 2011. However, we still need the buy in of Nigerians in this endeavor which is why I want to urge all Nigerians to as much as possible patronize Nigerian made goods.

Patronizing Nigerian manufacturers and their products does three things. First it increases the capacity utilization of our Real Sector because the more manufacturers sell their products to the end user the more they produce new and better products. Secondly, it ensures that money earned in Nigeria circulates within Nigeria which has the multiplier effect of strengthening the value of the Naira. Finally, and perhaps most importantly patronizing Nigerian goods keeps jobs in Nigeria and as I have often said, it is my goal for government not to be the largest employer of labour in Nigeria and of course government ideally should not be doing what the Private Sector knows best how to do. Government ought to create a conducive environment for businesses to thrive. This is a model that has been accepted the world over and our case in Nigeria can and will not be different.

So let us all take time to consider the big picture. I do understand that there are products that we do not yet produce in Nigeria and the government is working to address that. This takes time. But while we work on that, we all can make a contribution to Nigeria's progress by making a conscious effort to patronize Nigerian made products rather than foreign goods in cases where a Nigerian alternative exist.

I am certainly gratified when I read about an increase in capacity, revenue and profit in the Telecoms sector, the Banking industry and in the Oil and Gas sector. But I am nevertheless aware that until we increase capacity in the Real sector and in our Industrial complex the growth in these other sectors of our economy may not trickle down to the common man as quickly as you and I would desire and it is certainly not my intention to see the rich get richer while the common man stays the same. We must democratize economic benefits and that is the only democracy dividend the average man on the street will understand. GEJ

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