…Says Nigeria power project will create 250,000 jobs, connect 5 million houses
The Federal government has disclosed that the new National Development Plan will create over 21 million jobs and lift 35 million Nigerians out of poverty by 2025.
Speaking on Monday in Abuja at the Nigerian Economic Summit (NES), the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osibanjo said that the new plan was part of the government response to the COVID-19 pandemic in supporting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to create jobs and wealth.
Osibanjo explained that the Economic Sustainability Plan also served as a bridge between the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan and the new medium-term National Development Plan.
“This new Plan is nearing finalisation and was developed through an inclusive process that brought together a broad range of actors and stakeholders from across all sectors of society.
“I understand that the private sector including the Nigerian Economic Summit Group made substantial contributions and inputs into the draft Plan which is to be adopted by Government in the next few weeks and I wish to thank you for your contributions.
“The broad objectives of the new Plan are to diversify the economy, invest in critical infrastructure, build human capital and improve governance and security. The intention is to achieve broad-based and inclusive GDP growth in order to create 21 million jobs and lift 35 million people out of poverty by 2025.
“This is ambitious but realizable target is consistent with the government’s vision of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in a decade.
“And this is crucial, growth figures are meaningless if they do not translate to good-paying jobs, and improved standard of living for our people. The question of course, I insist, must be answered, regarding all our policies, is what they mean for the creation of wealth and human capacity development” he stated.
The Vice President stated further that the new Plan incorporates aspects of the “National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy which was articulated as a guide towards achieving our poverty reduction target.
“The starting point for the implementation of the Strategy is the realisation that increased employment is an indispensable tool for reducing poverty. It is for this reason also that labour-intensive sector like manufacturing is also receiving priority attention.
Osibanjo explained further that “labour intensive interventions in agriculture, housing and solar power installations which are still ongoing will also boost domestic demand, especially for local products.
“As the housing programme takes off, we are seeing not only a large number of jobs at the technical and vocational level but also a boom in building materials produced locally such as cement, ceramics, doors, windows, locks, tiles, pipes and paint amongst other things.
“The Solar Power Naija Project is another project of the Economic Sustainability Plan that will lead to the creation of a large number of jobs. We expect up to 250,000 jobs to be created from this effort to connect up to 5 million households to solar power.
“This project is particularly important in the context of climate change and in enabling Nigeria to generate renewable electric power against the background of its nationally determined contribution towards net-zero carbon emissions by 2050” he stated.
On her part, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr Zainab Ahmed said the government was creating enabling environment for businesses to succeed.