Vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 elections, Peter Obi, has urged the government to allow and encourage more private sector participation in Nigeria’s economy, saying it would drive the economy to growth and develop.
Obi made the call while addressing newsmen after he toured the biggest rice mill in Nigeria, Umza Rice Mill, located in Kano.
He said he was concerned about the rising cost of living as a result of soaring prices of food, inflation and other negative economic realities contending with the development of the nation.
Obi said Nigeria’s economic situation would receive a massive turn around if government can support private entrepreneurs with good economic policies, well articulated fiscal and monetary policies and conducive business environment to thrive.
“Umza Rice Mill is a clear case of how the private sector can contribute to the economy. This is a business that was established in 2009 and 12 years later, they are the biggest rice mill in the nation, producing about 6,000 tons of rice daily without much government intervention. One can only imagine how far they will go if the government gives them every necessary support they need.
“As it is with Umza Rice, so it is with thousands of other businesses, especially the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), which are the engine of economic growth, and have the potential of catalysing Nigeria’s economic turn around, if the government can provide the support they need to thrive and excel,” Obi said.
Chairman and founder of Umza Rice Limited, Abubakar Mohammed, thanked Obi for not only taking out time to come and tour their facility, but for asking necessary questions and looking for ways to attract more government intervention to their business, especially with respect to the recent Anchors Borrowers’ Programme.
He recounted how their journey has been from their early years of humble beginnings. He reeled out business plans for the future while expressing optimism with the future productive capacity of the Umza Rice Mill.