Wednesday, July 18, 2018 6.30PM / Proshare WebTV
The Vice-President Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN on Monday, July 16, 2018 hosted the 8th presidential quarterly business forum at the State House, Aso Rock, Abuja.
It was another opportunity to engage the private sector on key policy developments and the impact on the various sectors of the economy.
From the discourse, here are 4 key takeaways from the forum;
Ease of Doing Business
Former Industries Minister Mrs Nike Akande the called for improved access to the Tincan and Apapa ports to complement the government’s ease of doing business initiative. She commended the Federal Government for improvement in the area of power.
On the much talked about delay in signing the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCTA), Vice President Prof Yemi Osinbajo said “With respect to the AfCTA, there are clearly huge advantages for us no question about it at all. The rest of Africa see the enormous advantages of Nigeria’s participation, everybody is waiting for us naturally and that is because they see a huge market, there are advantages of our being there. But we must ensure to get the best possible terms for Nigerian trade and commerce. Our experiences with dumping and other injurious practices make it obvious to us that our market could be a real target, our local manufacturing could become unprofitable, our agricultural advantage could be reversed”.
Speaking further he asserted that the focus is to create a strong economy is friendly and that is conducive for growth and resilient to shocks.
ERGP & Private Sector
Speaking on the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and the private sector, the Vice-President Professor Yemi Osinbajo, shared “This is neither merely ideological nor rhetorical, it is simply the only way to go. Our 2018 budget is N9 trillion, and if you add the budgets of all 36 States, you may add probably another N12-15 trillion. This is barely 10% of GDP. Meanwhile private sector investment in the economy is in the order of 60-70% of GDP. How do you plan when most of your economy is not factored in?”.
“This is why in practically every detail of the implementation of our ERGP, we have ensured a rigorous process of engagement with the private sector” Osinbajo said.
The Vice President added that the development of FG’s policies around exports and other aspects of trade have also taken the same route of constant engagement with the private sector.
On the government’s efforts to improve infrastructure in the country, the Vice President said “the difference in substance in this administration, is the President's commitment to getting infrastructure done.”
According to him, “not only are we investing more than ever before on infrastructure, we are also ensuring that we complete projects like the Kaduna-Abuja railway, Abuja light rail, started in 2007, stalled in 2010, meant to have been completed in time for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, it was abandoned, we just completed it in 2018. Although our opponents criticize us and say we are shameless, for even completing the project! The Mambilla Hydro Project is 40 years old in planning, but we have now budgeted for it and we are raising the capital.”