Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said creating an enabling environment is key to boosting local investment in the country.
Osinbajo said this on Friday in Abuja at the Nigerians in Diaspora virtual Investment Summit (NDIS), organised by Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) in collaboration with Nigeria Diaspora Summit Initiative.
The summit, holding between Nov. 20 and Nov. 21, is the third edition. It has the theme: “Post-COVID-19 Economic Resurgence: Targeting Diaspora Investment”.
The summit is targeting investors in the health, education, Agric-business, creative industry and sports sectors.
Other areas include entertainment, Telecom, ICT/Fin-tech and manufacturing sectors.
The vice president said that the Federal Government was keen on improving the country’s economy after the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
”This is the third summit and this is my third appearance. The reason each time I accept invitation is the same – our Diaspora is one of the vital resources that we have.
“literally, Diaspora is an endless reservoir of talents, trade and investment opportunities in tourism, education, culture and sports.
“But, even more important is the shared range of well trained and experienced talent that the Diaspora represents. It is that potential that makes our Diaspora network an endless source of economic hope and social aspirations.
“When we met last year little did we know that the world will be afflicted by possibly the worst health crisis and the most devastating economic down turn in a generation.
“For us in Nigeria as with many developing countries, it means as of this quarter a minus six per cent slow down in GDP. It is a sad development especially after 12 conservative quarters of growth.
“So, in response, we designed a plan and the focus is on creating jobs, first via agriculture propgrammes where we have already enumerated five million farmers,’’ Osibanjo said.
He said that government had also begun a mass housing programme where 300,000 homes would be built across states in the country using local materials to create job opportunities.
“For this housing project, we have block makers and producers of panel and windows all from local companies. The whole idea is to generate job opportunities and income in every locality.
“We also have a solar programme to makes five million connections across the country to service 25 million indigenous people,’’ he said.
The vice president further said that the project involved a credit extended to solar home system assemblance and retailers by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“All our pragrammes are supported by credit facilities which CBN is offering. We have N1.3 trillion in all, so the whole idea is that the CBN is offering these credit facilities through the commercial banks to support our housing programme, solar home system and the agriculture programmes.
“What we try to do in response to COVID-19 and also improvising our own economy policy is to attempt to make the physical environment as attractive as possible.
“This is important to us because the only way to attract local investment is to ensure that we have physical environment that is attractive and make sense for people to invest in,’’ Osibanjo said.