The Federal Government has said it would explore private sector partnership in a bid to address the country’s infrastructural challenges, in line with its year 2020 target.
According to the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, plans are underway to aid the realisation of an economic target growth rate of seven per cent by 2020 incrementally beginning with a 3.5 per cent growth in 2018, 4.5 per cent in 2019 and 7 per cent in 2020.
The Ministry called for collaborative efforts to address Nigeria’s infrastructure challenges, stating that the budget allocated to infrastructure projects in the country is a far cry required to meet its infrastructure needs.
Preparatory to the 23rd Nigerian Economic Summit scheduled to hold on October 10th-12th in Abuja, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, in a chat with journalists, said the theme of this year’s summit tagged “Opportunities, productivity and Employment: Actualizing the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP)” is linked to the implementation of the plan, pointing out that the implementation of the ERGP is critical to achieving the ambitious goals of the present administration to diversify the economy and attain a growth rate of 7 per cent by 2020.
“We need to spend 3 to 5 per cent of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on infrastructure development as federal government spending at 0.5 per cent cannot solve our infrastructure challenges. We are looking for private sector partnership to structure projects to attract private sector funding,” he added.
According to him, the summit will elicit and adopt a solutions-based approach in addressing issues that will expand opportunities, tackle unemployment and improve productivity.
“This is in line with the aspirations of the ERGP which aims at restoring and sustaining growth, investing in our people and building a globally competitive economy. This is expected to enhance the effective implementation of the ERGP and also translate to improvement in living standards of the citizen.
He pointed out that the summit is structured into five key thematic pillars to identify proactive steps required towards building local content; focusing on linkages between economic opportunities, productivity, skills and competencies and the right policies to deliver in core areas; create and explore the strategic investment options, frameworks, models and business cases for unlocking type of capital flows that create opportunities and jobs for Nigerians.
He also stated that the summit would examine the impact of specific legislation identified by the National Assembly Business Environment Roundtable (NASSBER) to create economic opportunities and jobs and target actions and collaborative efforts required to deepen economic inclusion across Nigeria to unlock opportunities at the sub-national, deescalate threats to national security and make the business case for a united Nigeria.
He noted that the summit will further seek to articulate an action plan with specific timelines for all stakeholders, especially the private sector and government.
The Minister said this year’s summit will provide a platform to sharpen the conversation on how to deepen opportunities on employment as specified in the ERGP.
“The expected outcomes of the summit will outline the national jobs deficit and risk profile, provide a national response framework that adequately matches it; define a reviewed national framework for exploring the economic opportunities across priority industries, sub-sectors and market value chains; set out a reviewed framework for entrepreneurship and innovation that seeks to leverage entrepreneurial development as a key driver of productivity,” he added.