By Goodluck Ikiebe
Former British Prime Minister, Sir Tony Blair, has expressed his readiness to support the incoming administration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to succeed in office.
Blair gave the commitment on Tuesday when he visited the president-elect at the Defence House, Abuja.
He said the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, which he founded, would be a willing partner of the Tinubu administration especially in prioritising its goals and delivery.
He said since leaving office as the UK Prime Minister, he had been working with governments around the world to help them deliver on their mandates.
“Blair Institute has a project in place in Nigeria and felt it was incumbent upon him to meet Nigeria’s incoming president to understand the administration’s priorities”
“We would like to help in any way with your administration. We only need to know what the leadership priorities are and help in how to actualise them,” Blair told President-elect Tinubu.
He commended Tinubu’s campaign focus on key areas of security, economy, agriculture and power, describing the intertwined nature of the areas as critical to the development of any society.
Blair expressed optimism that with the appetite shown by investors to invest in Nigeria, the Tinubu administration could get the support it needs to spur economic development in the country.
He, however, acknowledged the difficult task before Tinubu and other leaders, at a time of global turmoil.
“Being in government today anywhere in the world is tough. You have things happening around the world which affect you and for which you can’t do anything much,” he said.
President-elect Tinubu, in his response, expressed appreciation to Blair for the visit and for his offer to work with his administration.
He spoke of the shared vision between him and Tony Blair Institute in their priority areas, but underlined the importance of tackling investment challanges and the need for social investment to fight poverty.
“Yes, we are challenged. But where is our courage? We can eliminate ignorance, diseases and poverty in Africa. We must work hard to ensure democracy works for our people,” Tinubu said.
“We have to invest more, put technology in place and keep terrorists at bay because without effective security, there is no guarantee investors will come,” he added.
The president-elect promised to provide a conducive environment that would encourage investors and open up opportunities for the people.
Tinibu was accompanied to the meeting by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila; Vice President -elect, Senator Kashim Shettima; member of Tinubu Transition Team, Mr. Wale Edun; former Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Chairman, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu; Senator representing Lagos East Senatorial District, Adetokunbo Afikuyomi and Executive Secretary, National Sugar Development Council, Mr. Zacch Adedeji.