An economist, Dr Aminu Usman, has advised the Federal Government to embark on massive drive toward attracting local and foreign investments in the projects identified by the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) focus labs.
Usman, a lecturer at the Department of Economics, Kaduna State University, gave the advice in an interview in Abuja.
He said the Federal Government should embark on massive drive to attract investment in order to translate the identified 164 projects in ERGP focus labs to reality.
The ERGP focus labs had identified 164 projects spread over the six geopolitical zones with a total investment worth 22.5 billion dollars and the potential to create 513,981 jobs by 2020.
“In the first place, the ERGP focus lab is a good one coming from the government; giving the private sector a voice in policy formulation and implementation is commendable.
“Practical incentives should be advertised to stimulate interest in the projects and the sectors they belong to generally.
“Deliberate attempt must also be made toward addressing infrastructure gaps in the country,’’ Usman said.
He, however, expressed optimism that the ERGP would be different from other development plans implemented by the government.
The don further advised the Federal Government to continue to engage the private sector on the implementation of the Plan.
“The beauty of ERGP is in the focus lab which is novel in this country.
“The labs provide ample opportunity for critical stakeholders to be part of the development of envisaged projects.
“They should, therefore, sustain the focus lab initiative and also continue to engage the private sector in the overall implementation of the plan.
“It should no longer be the exclusive preserve of the government to design and implement development plans,” he said.
Focus labs, popularly known as Malaysia style focus labs, is an initiative focusing on key areas, which reflect the six executive priorities of the ERGP.
The six core sectors are: Agriculture and Transportation, Power and Gas, as well as Manufacturing and Processing (including solid minerals).
It was inaugurated by President Muhammadu Bahari on March 13, 2018.
Meanwhile, the ERGP is a medium-term plan 2017-2020, launched by the President in April 2017.
The ERGP sets out the direction of government policy for the economy to put it on the path of a strong, diversified, inclusive and sustainable growth.
Amaka E. Nliam