The Federal Government and Private Sector will be working together to create Special Economic Zones, starting first with the Textile and Garment industry in the hope of spurring the nation’s economic development, according to Vice President Osinbajo.
During an interaction with selected investors in Davos, at the ongoing World Economic Forum, the Vice President said that “having the right mind-set and understanding where we want to go”, will affect the implementation process whilst ensuring things get done in the nation’s business environment. He stated that the team work between private sector and the government ensures consistency in the enforcement of economic policies. The Vice President added that one of the reasons he is optimistic about the collaboration is because it is “specific and is something we can measure very quickly, working with investors and allowing them to tell us what they want to achieve. This will help us attain set objectives.”
Prof. Osinbajo stated that having labs, where issues around effective implementation plans would be discussed with expert participants drawn from the private sector and public sector, will also help ensure “that we achieve our objectives” as those labs will set up the implementation agenda and see it to the end. The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma and Minister for Industry, Trade & Investment, Dr. Okey Enelamah were at the interaction. Senator Udoma stated the many advantages for Nigeria to create the SEZ for Textile manufacturing, citing the use of English as our official language, our political stable environment and the provision of an enabling environment for the private sector. Dr. Okey Enelamah noted that 2018 is a year of implementation regardless of the consequences. He went on to stress the need for a continuous active implementation of the ERGP based on three legs which includes investment, trade and industrialization with an enabling environment as the thrust that runs through all three legs. Former World Bank Chief Economist, Professor Justin Lin also mentioned that the Garment and Textile industry in Nigeria has huge potential because Nigeria produces cotton, as well as the availability of good locations around the country, including the large markets both domestically and internationally.