Government focused on fulfilling campaign promises – President Buhari

Timothy Choji, Abuja

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President Muhammadu Buhari at the Focus Labs launch

President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration is focusing on fulfilling its campaign promises and key goals in order to make life better for citizens of the country.

He stated this in Abuja, at the launch of focus labs for Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plans.

“Our key goals in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan are focused on achieving sustainable, diversified and inclusive growth leading to becoming self sufficient in basic commodities to curtail our food imports, diversifying our economic base from crude oil dependants, empowering local businesses to create thousands of jobs and improving the general wellbeing of our people,” he said.

President Buhari said the Nigerian Focus Labs are designed to accelerate development and investment.

“Focus Labs have been successfully used in other countries. The labs in Nigeria are designed as closed door investment platforms to identify and accelerate high impact projects with significant impact on GDP and job creation,” the President stated.

President Buhari who expressed delight at the successes recorded by Nigeria globally on ease of doing business, restated his administration’s commitment to build on that, adding that government is working hard to improve on existing infrastructure across the country.

President Buhari, who recognised the successes the country has recorded in the agricultural sector, said the Central Bank’s Anchor Borrowers programme has been expanded to boost local production.

“Significant progress has been made in the agricultural sector with the expansion of the Anchor Borrowers programme to more beneficiaries to boost our local production. We plan build upon the successes of the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative, to double the half  a million metric tons of fertilizer delivered to states, agro dealers and farmers in 2017 by achieving production output of 1,000,000 metric tons this year,” he announced.

The Nigerian leader said government must continue to work hard, to attract both local and foreign investors.

He said: “Our labour force growth rate exceeds our population growth, we must therefore continue working to attract both local and foreign investments to ensure we continue expanding economic activities thereby creating additional jobs for our people.”

President Buhari said the Focus Labs will afford the private sector access to public outfits and officials and participation in

“The labs will also enable pre-screened private sector investors to have access to senior government officials, regulators and cabinet Ministers. The goal is to efficiently and effectively resolve the most pressing bottlenecks delaying their proposed investment.

Accordingly I have directed the relevant ministers and heads of government agencies to always be available to the participants at the labs, to respond to their enquiries and issues,” President Buhari stated.

He commended the ministry of Budget and National planning for doing a good job, as he expressed optimism that the labs will bring about the needed successes and development, as they open up new investments across the country.

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, thanked the President for personally launching the Focus Labs.

He noted that when the Buhari led administration came on board; it had to act decisively, to save the Nigerian economy form total collapse.

Udoma said both local and international confidence in the Nigerian economy had since been restored, as the economy is on the path to growth in all sectors.

Also present at the State House Conference Centre, venue of the launch of the Focus Labs, was Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, some Ministers and State Governors as well as heads of various government agencies, including the Director General of Voice of Nigeria, Mr Osita Okechukwu.