Wednesday, 10 February 2016

W’Bank unveils N31.5bn employment initiative for Nigeria


The World Bank on Tuesday inaugurated a $160m (N31.5bn) growth and employment initiative aimed at stimulating economic activities in some sectors of the Nigerian economy.

The initiative, to be driven by an online platform, will also offer Nigerian companies in the targeted sectors access to finance and technical assistance.

Some of the identified sectors are entertainment, Information and Communication Technology, construction, manufacturing, agro-processing, hospitality and tourism.

The World Bank Country Director, Mr. Rachid Benmessaoud, said the project would support the efforts of the Federal Government in industrialising the country.

He spoke at the unveiling of the project in Abuja, which was attended by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah.

Benmessaoud said the initiative was vital for job creation and poverty reduction among the people, stressing that it was designed to support the government’s plan to create three million jobs annually.

He said, “The government of Nigeria has identified security, job creation and governance as three key priorities. For job creation, its focus is on the need to create three million new jobs each year, and it aims to do this through industrialisation, public works and agricultural expansion, diversifying the economy away from reliance on oil revenues.

“The Growth and Employment Project is a major initiative aimed at stimulating job creation through the growth of specific, high potential non-oil sectors. It will make resources available to help address some of the key constraints identified by business, with emphasis on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, which are widely regarded as a vital engine for growth and job creation.”

Explaining the modalities for accessing the funds, the World Bank country director explained that entrepreneurs would apply and be screened, noting that those that met the required criteria would be have access to high quality training and capacity building before they could be eligible for the grants.

“Grants will be offered through various windows designed around the differing needs of individual businesses and investors,” he added.

Enelamah said the government was mindful of the harsh economic business climate and had taken steps to increase the country’s ranking in the ease of doing business index.

He said, “One of the challenges we have, which is well documented, is our ranking in the ease of doing business; it is depressing to know that Nigeria is ranked 169th out of 189. And we have told the World Bank what exactly are the issues.

“So, I am very confident that as unsatisfactory as it is, it is not going to be business as usual. So, we are going to see a new Nigeria; you are going to see us working together in the mirror to see our country rise.”

He said the new initiative would assist to open up the nation’s economic environment for more investors.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...