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FG to generate $25b from proposed economic labs in 2018


The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo-Udoma

The Federal Government plans to generate about $25 billion in foreign and domestic investments from the launch of its economic “Focused Laboratories” next month. ‎

Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, gave the indication yesterday while briefing State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting which held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The Minister who said he briefed the Council presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on the activities of his ministry in the past two years disclosed that much work had gone into meeting up with the scheduled date for the labs to work, explaining that the policy had received the support of stakeholders.

He said the Focused labs were part of measures to drive the Economic Recovery and Growth Programme (ERGP) of the administration designed to bring together private and public sector officials necessary to achieve the specific policy or project objectives and meet over seven per cent growth plus exponential job creation by 2020.

He said the initiative was designed to include 100 relevant stakeholders drawn from the public and private sectors, who would sit for many weeks and brainstorm on the practical steps to get the ERGP active and working for the good of the country.

He said the laboratories will run for about three months in three separate phases of pre-laboratory, laboratory, and post-laboratory.

“The Focused labs will be commencing on March 5,2018. We will be bringing in investors both domestic and international. We will be looking at three areas; Agriculture and Transportation, Power and Gas, Manufacturing and Processing.

“It is going to involve many ministers in the Federal Executive Council who are actually going to drive the process.

“The target for the labs alone is to generate $25 billion worth of new investments. Some of the investments will be in naira, some will be dollars because we are expecting significant amount of domestic investments not just foreign investments,” he said.

Also briefing newsmen, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said that the FEC approved an upward variation of the contract sum for the building of a trailer park at the Tin Can Island Port in Lagos from N8.66 billion to N9.55 billion.

Fashola said the augmentation of the contract sum by about N892.17 million was due to the need for increased scope of work, especially shoreline protection of the park, which is almost finished.

“We expect that that truck park will now be completed this year and it will be one of the many multi-pronged efforts being pursued to give relief to the Apapa area, to facilitate vehicular truck and trailer movement and also maritime and import and export business and general economic activity for Apapa in particular, Lagos at large and the country as a whole,” he said.

Also, Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, said FEC okayed action for the contracts earlier awarded by the ministry for the ongoing Ekiti and Katsina dam projects including the Water Resources Policy Bill which is still being considered at the National Assembly.   Others are resuscitation of abandoned projects, signing of MoUs with investors, as well as commissioning of no fewer than ten projects this year.

Earlier, FEC members observed a minute silence in honour of late former Minister of Internal Affairs, Brigadier General John Shagaya (rtd.) who died in a road crash last Sunday.

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