By Olawunmi Ashafa
Lagos – The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on Thursday said the launch of the Economic and Growth Recovery Plan (ERGP) Focus Laboratories could generate $24 billion worth of investment for the country
Osinbajo said this at the commissioning of the second phase expansion project and laying of foundation stone for the third phase expansion project of Beloxxi Industries Ltd., in Lagos.
The vice president also said that 80 per cent of the figure was expected from the private sector.
He said that laboratory could also generate 15 million jobs and a projected Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 3.5 per cent this year and seven per cent growth by 2020.
Osinbajo said that the policy laboratory, launched on Feb.6 was to accelerate the intervention of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
According to the vice president , the laboratory is a euphemism that describes a relationship between the public, private sector.
The vice president said that it would also involve some other stakeholders coming together in a room to look at how they could look at problems, plan together, and resolve problems in investments in specific areas.
Osinbajo said, “Some of the areas we intend to look at in our laboratory include oil and gas, manufacturing and processing, agriculture and transport.
“The goal of this lab is to generate $24 billion worth of investment with 80 percent expected from the private sector.
“With 15 million jobs and a projected Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 3.5 per cent this year and seven percent growth by 2020.”
Osinbajo said the government looks forward to collaborating with Beloxxi Industries across the platform to ensure economic growth and job creation.
He said, “I therefore urge other indigenous manufacturers and businesses to ensure that they commit to Nigeria’s future, keep on investing and pushing the frontiers of local businesses.
“I want to urge foreign investors that with the way this country is going, Nigeria will not be recognisable in terms of infrastructure in the next few years. This is the country to come in for investment.”
The Managing Director of the Nigerian Export and Import Bank (NEXIM), Mr Abba Bello said that the bank’s mandate as an agency of the Federal Government is to grow the non-oil export by participating in financing it.
Bello said that with the dearth of biscuit manufacturing in Nigeria, it meant that most biscuits consumed in Nigeria were imported.
He said that NEXIM came in to support Beloxxi from the outset of the business, first for import substitution, and then to facilitate the export of Beloxxi biscuits to other countries.
The managing director said that NEXIM contribution was in the region of N1 billion. He said the company had repaid the facility.
Bello said that the bank was already having discussions on granting further enhancement and new facilities to the company.
Earlier in his opening remark, Mr Obi Ezeude, the Managing Director of Beloxxi Industries Ltd., said that the organisation had been able to operate production capacity of 40,000 metric tonnes of biscuits.
Ezeude said that the company was first to hit a $80 million from the international market which it used for business expansion.
He also listed the challenges facing manufacturers as access to capital, human capital development, localisation of the value chain, infrastructure, among others.
The managing director urged Federal Government to look into those challenges confronting the sector.
He also asked the government, both federal and state, to help expand the road that leads to Agbara, being an industrial hub that could generate more foreign exchange for the country.
The New Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the vice president launched the Economic and Growth Recovery Plan (ERGP) Focus Laboratories on power, agriculture and manufacturing to fast track economic growth on Feb.6.
Osinbajo said in Abuja on that the newly inaugurated Focus Labs would further boost economic growth.
He also it would ensure that Nigeria continued its journey of building a competitive economy.