The Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has stated that the country must create an enabling environment, post Covid-19, to attract local investments across the country.
Prof. Osinbajo said this at the virtual Nigerians in Diaspora Investment Summit (NDIS), organised by Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) on Friday in Abuja, themed: “Post-COVID-19 Economic Resurgence: Targeting Diaspora Investment.”
He said that the FG was committed to improving Nigeria’s economy as the pandemic has hit the GDP, with Nigeria reporting -6% GDP growth in the last report. He added that the FG had already come up with programmes to tackle the GDP slide, citing an agricultural policy to create 5 million farmers.
“Our Diaspora is one of the vital resources that we have…literally, diaspora is an endless reservoir of talents, trade and investment opportunities in tourism, education, culture and sports,” he said.
“But, even more important is the shared range of well trained and experienced talent that the Diaspora represents. It is that potential that makes our Diaspora network an endless source of economic hope and social aspirations.
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“When we met last year little did we know that the world will be afflicted by possibly the worst health crisis and the most devastating economic downturn in a generation.
“For us in Nigeria, as with many developing countries, it means as of this quarter, a minus six per cent slow-down in GDP. It is a sad development, especially after 12 conservative quarters of growth.
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“So, in response, we designed a plan and the focus is on creating jobs, first via agriculture programmes where we have already enumerated five million farmers,” Osibanjo added.
The Vice President also disclosed that the FG had commenced a mass housing programme with the aim of constructing 300,000 homes across the nations, using locally resourced tools and creating construction-related jobs.
“For this housing project, we have block makers and producers of panel and windows, all from local companies. The whole idea is to generate job opportunities and income in every locality,” he said.
He added that the FG had launched a solar project to service over 20 million Nigerians with the partnership of the CBN to extend credit to solar parts retailers and assemblers.
“We also have a solar programme to makes five million connections across the country to service 25 million indigenous people.
“All our pragrammes are supported by credit facilities which CBN is offering. We have N1.3 trillion in all, so the whole idea is that the CBN is offering these credit facilities through the commercial banks to support our housing programme, solar home system and the agriculture programmes,” he said.
Mr. Osinbajo stated that with the effect of the pandemic on the economy, Nigeria was working to improve the physical environment to make local investments attractive for investors.
“What we try to do in response to COVID-19 and also improvising our own economy policy is to attempt to make the physical environment as attractive as possible.
“This is important to us because the only way to attract local investment is to ensure that we have physical environment that is attractive and make sense for people to invest in,” he added.