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We’re building an investment friendly environment – Udoma

The Budget and National Planning Minister, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma has reiterated Federal Government’s determination to support the private sector as part of its cardinal move to reflate the country’s economy.

The Minister who was speaking in Abuja on Thursday while receiving a delegation from the Nigerian Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), said a healthy partnership between government and the private sector will see the economy grow much faster.

Acknowledging the private sector as the engine room of development, Senator Udoma told the delegation that the present administration is fully committed to building an investment friendly environment for the organized private sector, which is part of why this year’s budget gave prominence to infrastructure development.

He agreed that the private sector required sound and effective infrastructure to operate and assured that government was doing everything possible to ensure that the engine room of the economy runs smoothly.

This desire of government, he explained, was why it deliberately decided that this year’s budget must align with planning needs, pointing out that the structure of the budget is very good as it does not only address development needs but does not entirely depend on oil as its only source of funding.

To ensure the proper tracking of the economy, the minister said government has set up a special committee chaired by Vice President Yemi Osibanjo, which duty also involves fully tracking the performance of the 2016 Budget.

He assured that Government was fashioning out policies that would encourage Export and domestic production in its determined effort to ensure that most of the things consumed in the country are produced in Nigeria. “Our 2016 Budget is designed to have capital component of 30 per cent that will reflate our economy and provide Infrastructural growth for investors to leverage upon”, he added.

Senator Udoma further stated that the present administration has applied other innovative steps like application of Treasury Single Accounts, broadening of Nigeria tax base, dogged fight against corruption, among others to curb leakages and provide alternative sources of income.

Speaking specifically on the 2016 budget, the Minister said it was structured according to the realities of the Nigerian economy; as the country can no longer continue to depend on only oil to fund its budget.

Earlier, the national president of NACCIMA, Chief Bassey E. Edem had applauded the Zero-Based Budget system adopted by the Federal Government and particularly the diversification policy of the present administration.

While stressing the need for a focused infrastructure development effort to better the state of roads, rail and electricity in the country, the NACCIMA president advised to give priority attention to agriculture and solid minerals development as these were capable of providing alternative sources of bulk income for the country.

He called for the establishment of export villages in some parts of Nigeria for the sake of regularly showcasing the country’s export potentials and guaranteeing product quality.

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