The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Okechukwu Enelamah, is calling for partnership with the private sector towards the full development of skills and talents of Nigerians.
At the annual conference of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management in Abuja, Mr Enelamah says Nigeria is at a challenging time which offers the best opportunity to develop the country’s foremost asset; the Nigerian people, their talents, passion and energy.
He says there has been too much focus on the wrong things and no country can progress by valuing what lies within its soil above what lies in its people.
The event was used to brainstorm on how to unlock the potentials and value of the Nigerian people.
The minister told the gathering that Nigeria was facing dire challenges arising from mistaking its most important asset to be its natural resources resulting to gross neglect of its human resources, a trend he said ought to change now.
To tackle the human potential and leadership challenges Nigeria currently faces, the minister suggested a strong collaboration between the private sector and government is inevitable.
As Nigeria intensifies efforts to diversify its economy, reforms and growth of the economy must also go hand in hand with human capital development.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel Management therefore has a challenge to deploy its wealth of knowledge and experience now more than ever before.
The Federal Government says it will return the Export Expansion Grant (EEG) in 2017.
Speaking to journalists in Abuja, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Okechukwu Enelamah explained that the grant would be reviewed to encourage local production as well as small and medium scale enterprises.
He added that the country is seriously in need of investment and efforts are in place to create an investment-friendly environment for potential investors.
He also said that he’s working with the Ministry of Power to boost power generation for industrialization to thrive.
Mr Enelamah said “The EGG program was stopped by the previous government because of abuses and non-sustainability. They did not stop it but put a hold on it in order to understand the causes of these abuses.
“The good news is that we met with exporters two weeks ago and we told them that we will restart the program with adjustments and improvements to make sure it is more sustainable and I believe that it will come back in full stream in 2017, we also said that the amounts that were being owed will be paid but under a program that is linked to tax credit and other benefits which is what it was before.
“It was a benefit in kind linked to import but since we want to discourage import and encourage more local production and economy, we decided it is better to use tax credits rather than import credits.
“What we should be doing is to make sure we create the right environment to attract investments steadily, year in year out and through economic cycles.
“We are extremely hungry for investment and i think that is the message we are sending to you and we will do everything possible to attract the right investments in the country” he noted.