Nigeria to collaborate with private sector on indigenous products

Florence Adidi,Abuja

Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, Minister of Budget and National Planning, has said the Federal Government will work with private sector to support research with a view to developing indigenous products and technology.

Udoma said this in a statement by his Media Adviser, Mr James Akpandem,  in Abuja.

Udoma said this at the Annual General Meeting and 60th Anniversary of Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) in Lagos.

The meeting focused on sensitising the association on the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).

The ERGP projects that Nigeria will make significant progress to achieve structural economic change with a more diversified and inclusive economy in five key areas by 2020.

The key areas are stable macro-economic environment; achieve agriculture and food security; ensure energy sufficiency in power and petroleum products; and drive industrialisation focusing on Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as well as improve transportation infrastructure.

Udoma said that Federal Government was committed to supporting made in Nigeria goods and services and was working on policies that would enable the achievement of the goals set out in the ERGP.

He said the Executive Orders which the Acting President had signed would go a long way to ease doing business in the country.

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo had in May, signed three Executive Orders, one of which was on business environment and promoting Made in Nigeria products.

According to him, the order is also to support local production to increase employment opportunities particularly for the youth.

He, however, told NECA that it represented many of the leading industrialists and manufacturers in Nigeria.

“It is your success that will encourage new investors to come into Nigeria. Your success is therefore our success.”

“You can therefore count on a listening ear from the government as we work together to transform this economy to become the engine of production of our region and indeed, our continent.”

Udoma said the Federal Government was very appreciative of the platform.

NECA had provided consultation with the private sector when developing policies on the economy as well as policies on labour issues.

The minister recalled that when campaigning for the 2015 elections, President Buhari promised three things: to fight corruption; restore security and to fix the broken economy.

He said that ERGP was the blueprint of the administration to fix the broken economy.

He added that there was no doubt that successful implementation of the ERGP would revitalise the economy.

In addition, he said government had already established the Presidential Enabling Business Council (PEBEC) to specifically ensure policy alignment towards improving the investment environment.

“We want by our policies, to attract a much larger share of available investments into Nigeria and we want you to join us in telling the Nigerian story.”

“The story of a country that is ready to partner with genuine investors, whether Nigerian or foreigner, to work together to transform the economy,” Udoma said.

Also, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, lauded NECA’s role as a social partner which had discharged its responsibilities appreciably in ensuring industrial peace.

Ngige urged NECA to do some stocktaking, particularly in centralising its operations.

He advised that establishing more zonal offices would bring the association closer to employers across the country.

He also said the association would do well to draft the informal sector under its umbrella and by so doing help in bringing them into the tax net.

The President of NECA, Mr Larry Ettah, lauded government’s effort at working towards economic recovery and sustainable growth.

Ettah recalled comments of the past president of NECA who severally drew attention to the economic issues which had not been addressed.

He expressed hope that the ERGP would change the fortunes of the country and give it a different narrative going forward.

Ime N