Abuja - The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on
Monday, said that the country had everything needed to build and
sustain a vibrant economy in spite of the drop in global oil prices.
The vice-president said this during an interactive meeting with a
group of international investors at the State House, a statement issued
by the Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to the
Vice-President, Mr Laolu Akande, said.
Akande stated that the interaction involved global investors from
companies, including Renaissance Capital, Russia-China Investment Fund,
China Africa Development Fund, Invest Abu Dhabi, Actis, Emerging Capital
Partners, ECP, KKR & Co. LP, Old Mutual of South Africa.
The senior special assistant quoted Osinbajo as saying ``this country
has practically what it takes to run a solid economy that is not
dependent on oil, but on business and commerce.’’
According to the vice-president, President Muhammadu Buhari has
already given the mandate to ensure that conducive environment is
created for business investments in the country.
He added that work had already started, with government looking at the different aspects involved.
The Vice President, alongside Dr Okey Enelamah, the Minister for
Industry, Trade and Investment, also met with the World Bank Ease of
Doing Business Ranking Team.
At the meeting, issues were laid out and specific lines of action
identified on how to improve the business climate in the country.
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The vice president explained that working with the state governments,
the Buhari presidency would ensure that issues such as pre-investment
approvals and land titles were reformed to attain ease in doing business
in the country.
He explained that where necessary, government would rationalise
agencies involved in granting approvals, thus creating space for
businesses to thrive.
Regarding the critical role of electricity in creating a conducive
business environment, the vice president said the Federal Government
would continue making further investments in the sector.
He said the entire power value chain would have to be well compensated in order to produce the needed results.
Osinbajo also restated the commitment of the Buhari administration to
create jobs through businesses and direct government action to engage
He said the 500,000 teaching positions for unemployed graduates
proposed in the 2016 budget was a means of engaging the youths in paid
voluntary occupations in their communities until such a time when they
could find jobs in their different disciplines.
Besides, he noted, the programme would address the critical need for teachers in the public school system.
Osinbajo further said that the Federal Government would create
opportunities for about 370,000 youths who were not graduates to receive
vocational training and acquire skills, while one million artisans and
market women would receive soft loans through the Bank of Industry (BoI)
as already proposed in the 2016 budget.
Former Minister of National Planning, Alhaji Shamsudeen Usman led the
delegation of the international investors, while Dr Rachid Benmessoud,
the Nigeria Country Director of the World Bank led the bank’s Ease of
Doing Business Ranking Team.