The first phase of the Nigerian Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) Focus Labs has identified 165 projects spread over the six geo-political zones of the country with a total potential investment worth $22.5 billion and 513,981 jobs by 2020.
The federal government also disclosed that out of this amount, $10.9 billion worth of private investments are categorised as “most ready” to go. These labs were inaugurated on March 13 and for the past six weeks have put in tremendous efforts to discuss and address some of the bottlenecks and inhibitors of additional business investments in the economy.
Speaking at the ERGP focus lab open day ceremony to mark the end of the first phase of the focus labs in Abuja, the minister of budget and national planning Senator Udoma Udo Udoma said “$4.73 billion worth of investment has been identified in the agriculture and transport labs with a potential to create about 129,000 jobs, $9.25 billion investments with a potential of 378,000 new jobs was identified in the manufacturing and processing labs, while $8.57 billion worth of investment will come from power and gas with the potential of creating up to 7000 jobs.”
He added that by projection, the cumulative investment value of the identified projects could rise up to $39.12 billion by 2025 and about 716,079 jobs could be created.
According to government sources, so far, the group has made gains with Senga farms which is engaged with Autodex Ltd to gain access to supply of local tractors, hence eliminating the need to import and request for duty exemption.
Also, Sokoto state government is said to have allocated land to Nigerian Shipper’s Council for Mohtabe holding.
The minister said a company called “our collective” was able to obtain the Letter of Intent (LOI) from the ministry of transport to access foreign funding of $500 million while Kabara mining long standing request for renewal of exploration license from the ministry of mines and steel development was finalized. He said the lab also expedited Poliguard investment co. access to quickly receive letter of intent from SMDF in favour of UK export finance agency.
On his part, the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who was at the event, expressed optimism that President Muhammadu Buhari will deliver the change he promised during his inaugural speech.
He explained that the ERGP requires trillions of dollars investments to ensure its achievement. “Most of these investments will of course be from the private sector therefore the focus is to deal frontally with the issues facing the private sector businesses. Of the $10.9 billion worth of private investments, we are almost sure of unlocking the projects and accelerating their delivery to the private sector,” he said.
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