By Tony Obiechina Abuja
The Federal government has restated its commitment to create enabling environment aimed at attracting foreign investments into the country.
Minister of State for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba who stated this at the just concluded 27th National Economic Summit said the government is also interested in attracting and supporting investment and partnerships in the country.
In his remarks at the Summit themed,
Securing Our Future: The Fierce Urgency of Now”, the Minister said, “the government is creating an enabling macroeconomic environment by eliminating barriers and putting in place many incentives to attract investments.
“In addition to the incentives in the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP), we also have robust new incentive proposals in the draft National Development Plan (NDP) 2021-2025 and also various policy measures to enhance the enabling environment and ensuring good governance/transparency.
“The measures and incentives put in place by this Government have ensured that both health and economic data have continued to be on the positive trajectory after the impact of COVID-19 pandemic. Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 5.01% (year-on-year) in real terms in the second quarter of 2021.
“The Q2 2021 growth rate was higher than the -6.10% decline recorded in Q2 2020 and the 0.51% growth recorded in Q1 2021 year-on-year, indicating the return of business and economic activity near levels seen prior to the nationwide implementation of COVID-19 related restrictions. Similarly, inflation has continued to trend downward from 18.17% in March 2021 down to 16.63% in September 2021 for headline inflation.
“Food inflation has also continue to go down in the last six months after picking in March 2021 at 22.95% down to 19.53% in September 2021. Preceding this decline both headline and food inflation continuously rose for seventeen months from October 2019 to March 2021.
Prince Agba pointed out that “to further sustain this trajectory and to grow the economy on an inclusive growth and sustainable economic development, work is in advance stage in completing the National Development Plans 2021 – 2025 to guide Government policies, programmes and projects as well as private sector operations from now to 2025 while these would be inspired by the perspective plan-Nigeria Agenda 2050-which encapsulates our long-term vision for Nigeria”.
He said Nigeria’s huge economy and strategic location on the continent, has made her a viable trading partner for many countries “because of her size and youthful population; and her natural resource endowments provide enormous potential in local markets among others”.
The Minister assured that the theme of this year’s summit “Securing Our Future: The Fierce Urgency of Now” will like the previous Summits provide a platform for both the public and private sectors as well as participants to interact and share thoughts on key issues and challenges facing the Nigerian economy, with a view to evolving a common strategy and framework for addressing them.
He said, “This big conversation will no doubt shape the future for generations yet unborn. As has been the practice over the years, recommendations arising from the summit serve as critical inputs into government Plans, policies and programmes.
“In particular, the outcomes of previous Summits contributed in shaping policies on the Power sector reforms, Agriculture sector reforms and Pension reform among others. I am confident that this Summit with the rich faculty assembled as panelists will come up with recommendations that will address some of the current challenges facing the country”.
The Minister who commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his continued support to the Summit process, said it “remains one of the biggest platforms for dialogue amongst top policy makers and corporate leaders”, adding that, “I am pleased to note that over the last 27 years, the Summit has made significant inputs into Nigeria’s public policy”.
According to him, the Summit provided the opportunity to discuss the unprecedented turmoil unleashed by the global COVID-19 Pandemic and the #ENDSARS protests in Nigeria.
“The emphasis was on national and sub-national governments to lead the way in proactively navigating the country towards recovery and resilience by expanding economic opportunity for all Nigerians through sound policies, strong institutions, and responsible public investments – pro-poor investments”, he added.