Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo

Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja

The Ministry of Budget and National Planning will on Tuesday hold an ‘Open Day’ to mark the end of the first phase of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) Focus Labs.

The event slated for the International Conference Centre, Abuja will be flagged off by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and will be attended by the lead sector ministers involved in the first phase of the labs.

Focus Labs are designed as a workshop-style closed-door investment for between private sector and senior government officials, and serve as avenues for detailed discussions and interactions to address some of the bottlenecks and inhibitors of additional business investments in the economy.

The first phase of the labs took place over a six-week period in Abuja from March 12 to April 22 2018, and were focused on six core sectors, including agriculture and transportation, power and gas, manufacturing and processing (including solid minerals).

The Open Day is an opportunity to present the outcomes of these initial Labs and elicit feedback from the public. Lead ministers will be available to present lab outcomes for their sectors and discuss the way forward to address identified bottlenecks and thereby unlock investments that can create new jobs in the country.

A statement from the Ministry of Budget and National Planning said the labs produced 67,200 man-hours of effort within a six-week period and involved 180 organisations including the relevant ministries, government agencies, authorities and private sector companies.

Twenty syndication meetings with subject matter experts including senior government officials, corporates and entrepreneurs were also held during the labs.

Commenting during the last week of the Labs, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, said: “Over the last few weeks, participants in the Labs have had an opportunity to engage the government directly on the complex inter-agency issues that hinder investment.

“The frank and open discussions between investors and nine cabinet ministers and their teams, as well as several agencies and departments, are a critical first step to building trust and credibility between the public and private sectors and harnessing important partnerships that will unlock key investments to diversify the economy and create wealth and employment.”