• Tony Igele

FG Seeks Collaboration on Economic Growth

Abuja – The Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, said on Monday that the present administration would forge a crucial partnership with the private sector to drive economic recovery programmes.

Osinbajo said this while addressing the third Quarterly Business Forum at the Conference Centre of the Presidential villa, Abuja.

According to him, the crucial partnership plays itself out in many of the administration’s technology-driven ease of doing business initiatives.

“What we think will work is to create that environment such that private investment in this particular area thrives. “Government simply cannot provide any or all of these services; most times it just has to be private-sector driven and we will do our best to provide the enabling environment to make that happen.

“So we are doing the best options to deepen broadband internet penetration and we are also seeking the best partners in this respect.

“So our plan of going forward is really quite simple, we will demonstrate our belief and commitment to this partnership by making ourselves as accessible to you as possible.

“So that we are able to engage, even in between this quarterly business forum and talk and exchange ideas and hopefully be able to develop working relationships that will endure.’’

The acting president noted that government had decided to work with a private sector broadband infrastructure provider to manage the problematic Corporate Affairs Commission’s online platform.

He said government expected that the provider would be fully operational in the next 30 days and that it guaranteed that up time would be 99 per cent.

“We think that those kinds of partnerships and interventions are important.

“The only way to make government work is if the private sector invests in government.

“Not in investing its money but more investing in terms of time, attention and the kinds of partnerships that we are building here,’’ he added.

Osinbajo mentioned that the issue of broad band internet penetration was one that the government had to deal with.

He told the forum that government had created points of contacts to enable them to contact the administration to receive ideas and strategies and also give feedback.

He thanked the business community for availing itself of the opportunity to dialogue with the government in providing solutions to the economic malaise.

He noted that expertise existed in the private sector which the administration would tap from.

The Budget and National Planning Minister, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, earlier noted that the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of government was to take the country out of recession.

He also said that the plan was to move the country on the path of growth, adding that while progress was recorded a lot still needed to be done.

Udoma said government was ready to remove the constraints hindering business development and economic growth.

“We want to leverage the power of the private sector. The power of the private sector is unlimited and we want to ensure that Nigeria becomes an investment destination,’’ the minister added.

Udoma said that the ERGP was hinged on science and innovation, adding that to drive competitiveness, the country needed to harness technology.

An investor, Chief Paul Okonkwo, said the forum was okay but noted that some government policies discouraged investments.

Okonkwo, the Chief Executive Officer of Pokobros Group in Onitsha, said the request for end user certificates before some raw materials imported into the country could be cleared at the ports should be reviewed.

He suggested that government should inform manufacturers ahead of policy changes and ensure that it should also offer short periods for the release of clearance documents.

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