FG plans rail line to connect 36 States of the federation – Osinbajo
Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Tuesday, announced the federal government intention to connect all the 36 states of the federation by rail, though, working with foreign investors.
Presenting his keynote address to investors tagged “Investment Landscape in Nigeria” at the just concluded Nigeria – Canada Investment Summit in Abuja, Osinbajo stated that through the Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP), key developmental areas have been identified for private and foreign investments to help achieve goals of inclusive economic growth.
According to him, the ERGP focus labs identified about $32.5bn worth of investments in different sectors which can create job opportunities.
“Also, infrastructure is another key area of investment especially the railway where the Federal Government intends to connect all the 36 states through a railway line and will require investors to key into the project by way of Public Private Partnership to develop the sector through investment and concession,” Osinbajo stated.
Organized by the Nigerian High Commission to Canada and Prime Essentials Development and Investments Limited (PEDI) with the theme:
“Fostering Strong Business Partnerships into the Future” the summit provided a viable platform of interaction for both parties to learn about each other, especially for Canadian investors to acclimatize themselves with the opportunities in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, Nigerian Investment Promotion Council is working on generating a data base for all investors to discover the abundant business opportunities in the country to further economic ties and development,” the Vice President said.
He also emphasized that the current administration through the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), is working towards removing business bottlenecks encountered by investors.
At the event, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, reiterated call for a Public Private Partnership, PPP, saying that diversification and industrialisation cannot be achieved without private partners working more closely with the government.
“Industrialization is the heart of the economy. Trade drives investment and investment then leads to efficient industrialization.
However we cannot fully actualize this if we do not have foreign private partners with the required expertise,” Enelamah noted.
Yewande Sadiku, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) in her presentation asked Canada to also exploit its other relationships with other trading partners outside the United States such as Nigeria, keeping in mind the projections of the country in terms of economic growth.
“24 of the 39 countries in the world that are expected to have the fastest growing economies by 2030 are on the African continent, of which Nigeria is one”
On the Canada – Nigeria Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) which was signed in 2014 but has not commenced due to ratification issues, Sadiku expressed government’s full commitment to
trimming all the edges and fully ratifying the agreement.
“We sat down at the commission to draft out ourselves, a list of countries the nation wishes to build and cultivate strategic relationships with, and I can assure you that Canada is one of those countries. So the execution of that agreement is as important to you as it is to us”.
She however emphasized that though the project is of a priority to Nigeria, it requires commitment from both ends to fully see it through.
“Communication with Canada has been done through diplomatic channels, it is important that both parties are fully satisfied with what they are signing. I feel with the commitment of both parties, it can be addressed,” she said.
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