The Federal Government said yesterday that its economic recovery template was adopted from a former governor of Lagos State and national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, who spoke during the ninth annual Bola Tinubu Colloquium to mark his 65th birthday in Lagos, noted that the tax mobilisation formula and other policies the APC chieftain deployed as governor were what the Federal Government had adopted in its efforts to revamp the national economy.
This tribute by the Buhari government underscores the growing cordial relationship between the presidency and Tinubu. This contrasts with a notion of the existence of a no-love-lost relationship between President Muhammadu Buhari and Tinubu which was given expression recently when Tinubu’s protege Governor Akinwumi Ambode and his predecessor, now Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, had a public spat over the development of Airport Road in Lagos.
At the event titled, “Make it in Nigeria – Use what we make, make what we use”, Adeosun further revealed that states were adopting the Tinubu economic model.
Her words: “We are following that template which you laid down. Oil has proved to us that it is a very unreliable source of revenue. As a matter of fact, it is a lazy way of economic revenue.
“The situation we found ourselves today demands that we should have multiple sources of revenue. We need to create jobs for our people by diversifying the economy but unfortunately, what we had before now was an unproductive economy which solely depended on oil.”
The minister stressed that the nation needed to drive the economy by creating jobs, adding: “We will change Nigeria by consuming what we make and make what we use. Using what we make and consuming what we make is the best way towards economic recovery.
“The tax mobilisation we copied from Tinubu is what we are using. And we thank you for leading the way in tax collection. As a matter of fact, when you embarked on aggressive tax collection, which eventually led to increased internally generated revenue (IGR) in Lagos, many people complained. But the truth is that we all can see the massive infrastructural development achieved from your aggressive tax collection.”
Adeosun vowed that very soon, she would employ an aggressive tax system towards wealthy Nigerians similar to that of Tinubu.
In the meantime, encomiums have begun pouring in for the former governor.
According to President Muhammadu Buhari, the celebrant is the most outstanding South West politician of his generation.
Represented by the Minister of Interior, Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd), the president noted: “Tinubu is a great mobiliser, very good at planning and executing government plan. He played a great role in the transformation of Lagos State. Today, it is no exaggeration to conclude that Tinubu and his associates, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Minister of Power, Housing and Works, Mr. Babatunde Fashola and the incumbent governor of the state, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, are the architects of the new Lagos.”
Ambode said the astute politician was a great political mentor whose products traversed the country.
His Ogun State counterpart, Ibikunle Amosun, extolled Tuinubu’s selfless service to humanity and the nation at large. Amosun’s predecessor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel described, the famous businessman as a great mind.
The Lagos and Osun Houses of Assembly also paid tributes to the former governor.
However, the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, noted that there were many unexplored business opportunities in Nigeria. According to him, many entrepreneurs fail in business due to poor electricity supply and inconsistent government policies. He commended Tinubu for laying the foundation that brought about the refinery he is building in the Lekki axis of the state.
Tinubu said the occasion “is about what a people united in purpose must do to improve their beloved country. Though our roles may be different some may work under the public glare and others labour without fanfare, we are all but servants to that goal.”
Guests included state governors, Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi ); Simon Lalong (Plateau); Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo); Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna); Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo); Aminu Bello Massari (Katsina) and Abdulahi Ganduje (Kano).
Others were former Vice President Namadi Sambo; erstwhile governors Olusegun Osoba and Otunba Gbenga Daniel of Ogun; Niyi Adebayo (Ekiti) and Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom).
Also present were Oba of Lagos, Rilwanu Akiolu; Senator Gbenga Ashafa; Alhaji Lateef Jakande; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar; Senator Femi Ojudu among others.
Culled from The Guardian Newspaper