The president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan has announced that his government “will no longer be the owner and manager of businesses”.
That responsibility will now be given to the private sector.
President Jonathan was visiting the Nigerian Stock Exchange to mark the close of trade for the day. According to the president, one of the reasons he participated in the process was to show his support for the capital market in the current economic climate.
Jonathan’s plan for the next four years, if he remains in office, is to strengthen investment through more control given to the private sector and allow the sector to solely drive the economy.
His administration believes that these policy implementations will create significant growth for the economy and create jobs for Nigerians.
The president's presence at the stock exchange can be seen as significant considering the upcoming Nigerian elections.
In his speech, before ringing the closing gong, Jonathan highlighted that his government and his party do not want to create policies that will injure the private sector.
He encouraged the private sector to seize the opportunity, even though the drop in the oil price has had negative effects on economic activity. While he acknowledged that stocks dropped from about 14 trillion naira to about 10.3 trillion naira, he expressed his happiness with the state of the economy.
"When we came on board at around 2010-2011 the stocks were sitting at around 6.5 trillion naira,” said Jonathan.
He added that the economy was stabilising and would continue to grow.