The Federal Government has projected a $22.5 billion investment for three key sectors of the nation’s economy by 2020, with a potential to create over 500,000 jobs for unemployed youths in the country.
President Muhammadu Buhari disclosed this today in his speech to commemorate the nation’s 18th Democracy Day.
According to him, his team of experts had conducted “Focus Labs” in three key sectors of the Economy namely, Agriculture & Transport, Manufacturing and Processing as well as Power and Gas, and the results prove that these sectors have the potential to boost the nation’s economy if there is significant investment.
The President said: “These investment generation initiatives are expected to increase capital inflows in the form of foreign direct investment. There is a high prospect that the cumulative investments from this first phase of the Labs will hit US$39.2 billion by 2025.”
He said under agriculture, Nigeria continues to pursue a strategic food security programme built around self-sufficiency and minimization of import dependency. As a result, rice importation from other countries has been cut down by 90% which has a direct impact on foreign reserves.
The president also said his administration has therefore focused on revamping the ailing economy it inherited in 2015.
“In 2016, government executed an expansionary budget and developed the Strategic Implementation Plan. For the first time, 30% of the budget was earmarked for capital expenditure which represents an upward review when compared with the 2015 budget.
“The SIP was followed by the development of a comprehensive medium term plan – the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan 2017 – 2020,” said Buhari.
Significantly, the president mentioned that the broad strategic objectives of the ERGP were to include; “Restore and sustain economic growth; Build a globally competitive economy; and invest in our people.”
The implementation of the ERGP, according to him, has started yielding results, going by the National Bureau of Statistics reports that the economy grew by 1.95% in 1st quarter of 2018, which is a good performance when viewed against -0.91 in 1st quarter 2017 and -0.67% in 1st quarter 2016 respectively.
He also attributed growth of the economy to increase in foreign reserves, which has improved significantly to 47.5 billion USD as of May, 2018 as against 29.6 billion USD in 2015.