The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, and Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State have called for inclusive economic growth as the federal and state governments step up efforts to attract foreign investors into the country.
They emphasised the importance of public-private partnership and infrastructure in driving investment and growth.
The duo spoke at the opening of the Enugu State Investment Summit, which has the theme, ‘Beyond oil: Fostering inclusive economic growth and sustainable development.’
Fashola, who emphasised the importance of security and investment-friendly land policy to economic growth, narrated how Lagos State under his leadership grew its tax revenue from N7bn to N25bn a month.
He said there was the need to promote the growth of local industries, as they have the capacity to boost job creation and inclusive economic growth.
Fashola, who was represented by the immediate past Commissioner for Finance in Lagos State, Mr. Ayo Gbeleyi, said, “The most important investor for your private-public partnership is the home investor. While it is helpful to attract and secure the big multi-billion naira investors, they are usually not many enough to create the inclusion that you need. It is the small businesses that are most important.
In his speech, Ugwuanyi said Enugu state was laying a new foundation for its economic development through resuscitation of its moribund industries while opening up new ones for the benefit of its people.
The Enugu governor, who said the state was aware of the current macro-economic challenges facing Nigeria as a country due to the unprecedented decline in crude oil prices, said the development had contributed significantly to the decline in government earnings.
“In spite of the constraint mentioned above, we are committed to utilising the available resources judiciously to deliver on our campaign promises to our people. We also embarked on several programmes of reforms in critical areas of development and I am glad to inform you that these reforms are already yielding the desired results.”
The Director-General of the summit, Mr. Ike Chioke, said the state was willing to partner with competent and credible private sector participants to boost economic growth.