By Sisi Ochigbo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has called for collaboration between Chartered Institutes of Stockbrokers and the government to provide a platform to address the country’s infrastructural deficit using capital market’s facilities.
A statement by Bisi Daniels, Strategy and Communications Adviser to the Minister of Industry Trade and Investment, quoted Osinbajo as making the call.
Osinbajo explained that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration met a weak economy in 2015, and has set the country on a path of growth, industrialization and sound resource management.
The Vice President was represented by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah.
The Vice President highlighted some of the challenges in 2015 as including rising inflation, declining reserves, exchange rate instability, and a sharp drop in oil revenues, all of which resulted in an economic recession.
The government has also been able to spur growth through the Strategic Implementation Plan and the Nigeria Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
“Our first step was to create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.
“We implemented Ease of Doing Business reforms, Foreign Exchange Market reforms, provided incentives such as the Pioneer Status incentive for investors and signed bilateral agreements with countries like China, Germany, and the UK.’’
According to the Vice President, Nigeria has also moved aggressively on the path and policies to industrialization with the establishment of the Nigerian Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Council for a close partnership with the private sector in order to implement the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan.
He said six Special Economic Zones are being created in different geopolitical zones and key sectoral policies from tomato to sugar and automotive are being implemented.
Other initiatives highlighted include up-scaling agriculture with over N120.6 billion disbursed so far to more than 800,000 farmers under the Anchor Borrowers Scheme.
“The Social Investment Programme under which farm produce has been from over 100,000 farmers to feed 9.2 million school children daily; the GEM programme, which has disbursed over N3.7 billion to 910 entrepreneurs; Public Finance Reforms and Conditional bailouts of sub-national governments.’’
The reforms have clearly put us back on the path of growth. Our GDP has grown consistently for the past six quarters, our exchange rate market is stable, our inflation rate has declined even below the ERGP target of 12.4 per cent for 2018.
“We have gone from negative to positive trade balance and our external reserves which stood at over $43 billion in December 2018 has been on a sustained increase.”