Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has expressed the commitment of the Federal Government to ensuring that all the promises made to improve the living standards of Nigerians are fulfilled.
He made the remark while delivering a keynote address at the Open Day held by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning to mark the end of the first phase of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) Focus Labs.
The event was an opportunity to present the outcomes of the labs which took place over a six week period in Abuja and focused on six core sectors.
Describing the ERGP as one different from any introduced by previous governments, Osinbajo said it was focused in its approach to implementation.
He said the programme was supported in particular, by the highest level of political will, from the president himself, through to civil servants on the ground.
He said given the political will of the current administration, therefore, the promises made in the president’s manifesto would come to fruition for the people of Nigeria.
“It is our aim to make these Focus Labs a success so that Nigeria can take a transformative step towards sustained economic prosperity and social liveability,” he said.
He assured the private sector that government would deal frontally with all issues raised during the conduct of the labs and the feedback that emanated from there to improve the business environment for the growth of the economy.
According to him, the Central Steering Committee, which he chairs, will continue to meet regularly, at the cabinet level, to address the bottlenecks identified in the labs.
“In addition, there is a standing committee of Permanent Secretaries in about seven ministries, who have been mandated to ensure that the key implementation decisions made during the Labs are followed through to implementation.
“I have mandated a monthly progress report on issues resolved on behalf of the private sector. It is no longer business as usual for us in government,” he said.
Welcoming participants and guests, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, said having clearly recognised that lack of implementation was a major factor that caused the failures of previous national plans, the Focus Lab approach, among other initiatives, was adopted to help government translate high level plans into detailed operational activities, in close collaboration between government agencies, the private sector and civil societies.
The minister disclosed that the initial labs were able to identify 164 projects spread over the six geo-political zones of the country with a total potential investment worth US$22.5 billion and 513,981 jobs by 2020.
He said of that amount, US$ 10.9 billion worth of private investments were categorised as ‘most ready’ to go.
“Specifically, disaggregating with respect to each of the work-stream, US$ 4.73 billion worth of investment have been identified in the Agriculture and Transport Labs, with a potential to create about 129,000 jobs; US$9.25 billion investments, with a potential of 378,000 new jobs was identified in the Manufacturing and Processing Labs, whilst US$8.57 billion worth of investments will come from Power and Gas with the potential of creating up to 7,000 jobs”, he said.
He added that the investment projects identified in the Labs would span beyond 2020; and by projection, the cumulative investment value of the identified projects could rise to about US$39.12 billion by 2025 and about 716, 079 jobs could be created.