By Chinwendu Obienyi
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, has said that the Federal Government’s partnership with the private sector initiative (PPP) will drive Nigeria’s economic growth and development in 2017.
Delivering a speech to Nigerian entrepreneurs on the expected policy thrust of the Federal Government’s 2017 Budget with regards to industry, trade and investment at the Nigerian Entrepreneur Summit and Honours (NESH) held in Lagos, Enelamah revealed that to ensure growth, development and diversification in the incoming year, partnership between the government and private sector was essential.
“We focused on the things that are absolutely necessary to drive the economy and in my view, there must be a partnership between the private sector and the government to achieve more growth and this will be what will be seen running through the 2017 budget, which will be passed on Wednesday to the National Assembly.
“The key things we ran through include partnering with the private sector for growth, development, diversification, generating employment and so on, and we have started working on some things that are essential to achieve this partnership,” he said.
According to him, “to achieve this partnership, there has to be an enabling environment for business and investment, tangible policies and infrastructure and this comes down to political will. There has to be commitment and leadership from the top that will drive the government in every aspect to engage when those things happen and one of the things I believe we laid the foundation for in 2016 and we will see tangible results in 2017.”
Enelamah stated that the government would be looking to work on key areas including ease of movement of people across border, movement of goods, mostly imports and exports, transparency and clarity and doing business with the SMEs.
Meanwhile, founder, Centre for Value in Leadership, Prof. Pat Utomi, said that production remains the greatest challenge facing Nigeria and urged the government to focus more on production.
Also speaking, the initiator of the Nigerian Entrepreneurship Summit and Honours (NESH), Mr. Emeka Ugwu-Oju, noted that NESH remains passionate about private sector partnership and urged the government to create a better enabling environment that will boost more development in the economy.
“I think one of the main reasons we have NESH as a platform is that we are a bit focused on being practical oriented, we are entrepreneurs, we should always find solutions and one of the things we said at NESH is that we will be fostering in various forms a lot of private sector result-oriented partnership. We look at and ask how we need to solve these problems, we want to encourage that partnership and NESH is very passionate about that,” Ugwu-Oju said.