The Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment has announced plans to launch a committee to push Nigeria up the ladder in the ease of doing business index, noting that this move by the present administration was to raise the country to one of the top 100 countries as against the currently ranked 169 out of 189 in the world.
The Minister, Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, explained that the launch which would be done in few weeks time by thePresident Muhammadu Buhari, will be chaired by the Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, to meet frequently with nine ministers and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Governor to provide steer coordination across ministry and debottleneck challenges hindering businesses in the country.
Enelamah, during a Deloitte C-Suite engagement in Lagos, also stated his plans to work closely with the private sector associations to implement the initiative.
The minister added that the nation’s industrial sector under performed when compared to other nations in the continent, maintaining that the federal government is working relentlessly to progressively increase industry’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He said the ministry has identified key pillars to ensure Nigeria achieves inclusive growth within the economy, diversified economic base with growing export revenues and a thriving business and investment environment by implementing the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP), attracting proactive long-term local and foreign investment, championing Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to create jobs and achieve inclusive growth.
“We are also promoting the integration of Nigerian businesses into the regional and global value chain.” “We will use industrial parks, special economic zones to catalyse the implementation of the NIRP with the intention to increase contribution of the industry, reduce dependence on imports, create jobs and develop priority sectors to make Nigeria number one in Africa and top 10 globally,” he said.
According to him, 46 per cent of Nigeria’s population remains below the national poverty line despite a 10 fold increase in Gross National Income (GNI) per capita since 2000, calling for a collective and collaborative effort to address this challenge.
He pointed out that Nigeria still remains potentially attractive for Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs), saying a good combination of people and resources will help attract local and foreign investment to drive economic growth.
“The singular and most important move is to work with the private sectors to create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive and we will work with you to create that environment. We are very confident that Nigeria remains the right place for FDIs if the right fiscal and monetary policies are in place,” he said.
On trade, the minister said Nigeria had also under performed, stressing that the nation is not at its full potential doing global trade while adding that there are deliberate policies to engage exporters to boost export of the nation’s commodity at the global market.
He said the role of the private sector is critical in implementing the vision of the ministry, saying that the ministry is seeking ways to partner the Organised Private Sector (OPS) to achieve national interest and nation building.
Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria and West Africa Regional Leader, Mr. Fatai Folarin, said the Nigerian economy is in a journey that has not been experienced in decades, pointing out that as leaders in various organisations, there is need for a collective responsibility engaging each other to seek innovative ideal on reviving the economy through trade and investment.
He said trade and investment are critical to look at the investment opportunities, share ideas towards economic growth, saying that going forward, Deloitte will be rebranding to meet the expectations of its clients.