…As FG screens 240 projects
Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, said the launch of Focus Labs for the nation’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), will remove the bottlenecks impeding investments in the country. The policy modeled after the Malaysian focus lab according to the President is aimed at getting private and public sector investors to identify focused areas of investments.
For the Buhari administration the focus are gas and power supply, agriculture, transport, manufacturing and processing sectors.
It is expected that in three years the focus sectors will generate $4 billion worth of investments and millions of jobs. Each focus lab will be headed by the minister in each of the sector but made up of relevant stakeholders in government and private sector who would fasttrack the execution of the projects.
This was as the Federal Government stated it has so far screened 240 projects for the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) under its focus laboratories.
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, who disclosed this at the inauguration of the focus labs by President Muhammadu Buhari said the government was targeting to mobilise at least $25 billion or its naira equivalent in private investments through the labs.
“Many have asked whether we are not being too ambitious in targeting $25 billion. My answer is that we have no choice. We actually need multiples of $25 billion or its equivalent in naira of new investments to create enough jobs to address the high unemployment rate in the country.
“So, we will not stop after the first set of labs. After this first set of labs, we will hold more labs and more labs. We shall keep on addressing all the constraints to investments until we achieve the goals we have set for ourselves,” he said.
According to him, the implementation of the initiative will further drive quick delivery of some of the outcomes of ERGP and contribute to accelerating the growth momentum of the country.
Udoma said the labs, scheduled to run for the next six weeks, would start with setting the agenda on projects capable of impacting on the economy.
The Minister said the labs would end with the final syndication and sign offs on the projects capable of impacting the economy and creating jobs for Nigerians.