Economy

VP: Nigerian government committed to mobilising private sector for economic growth

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has expressed optimism that the current clouds and travails covering Nigeria would give way to a glorious and bright new nation.

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has said that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to mobilising the private sector to participate in the country’s economy for efficiency and growth.

The Vice President spoke at the webinar organised by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) in collaboration with the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX) and Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) to showcase the Investment Opportunities in Nigeria’s Privatisation and Economic Reform Programme which held on Tuesday.

He explained that the collaboration by the three federal government agencies is to draw the attention of investors from around the world to the investment opportunities available in Nigeria.

Citing examples of the reforms in the pension and telecom as well as marine ports sectors, Osinbajo said past reforms have brought increased opportunities and economic gains to the country.

While acknowledging the shortcomings in the power sector reform, the Vice President said the Federal Government is working to correct the abnormalities. He stated that one of the take homes from the power sector reform was the need to engage the right minds/ investment modules to attract investment into the country.

According to the Vice President, the Federal Government alone cannot address the huge infrastructure deficits and economic needs of the country, hence the need for Public Private Partnership (PPP) which requires clear and consistent guide lines and arrangement for investment.

The Vice President expressed the hope that the new policy guide lines which clearly stipulated the roles of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and the Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission (ICRC) would clear the ambiguity between the two agencies and incentivise participation of investors in the investment opportunities that abound in the country.

The Federal Government had earlier on issued a circular, stipulating the roles of the BPE and ICRC with regard to PPP arrangement. The circular stated that the BPE would be responsible for the concession of public enterprises and infrastructure that are already listed in the first and second schedules of the public enterprise act and also act as a counter party on behalf of the Federal Government on all infrastructure projects being developed on a PPP basis while the ICRC would be the regulatory agency of PPP transactions with powers to inspect, supervise and monitor the projects and processes in order to ensure compliance with the relevant laws, policies and regulations.

In his welcome address, the Director General BPE, Mr. Alex A. Okoh expressed delight at the event whose aim was to shore up the investment opportunities in the country. He said the webinar was a collaborative resolve by the Bureau and other investment agencies to radically change and grow the economy of the country.

Making a presentation, the Director, Energy Department at the BPE, Mr. Yunana Jackdel Malo listed various sectors of the Nigerian economy with investment opportunities, including; Zungeru power plant, NIPPS, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Nigerian Postal Services, Nigerian Film Corporation, Federal Capital Water Board, Abuja Environmental Protection Board, The International Conference Centre Abuja, divestment of Federal Government shares in Save Sugar (in the Republic of Benin), Lagos international Tradefair Complex, and the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS).

According to a statement by BPE Head of Public Communications, Aminu Tukur Othman, other speakers at the event include: the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed; Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu; Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr.Godwin Emefiele; Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX) Plc, Mr. Oscar N Onyema OON; the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Yewande Sadiku, Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Exchange Limited, Mr. Temi Popoola, and other captains of industry.

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