Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, on Tuesday said the Muhammadu Buhari administration has spent over N3.5trillion on Nigeria infrastructure.
The Vice President spoke at the first Nigeria-UK Economic Development Forum (EDF), hosted by the Federal Government at the Presidential Villa.
The EDF was signed in August 2018 by President Muhammadu Buhari and Prime Minister Theresa May in London as a platform to foster economic and development ties between Nigeria and the United Kingdom.
He said: “We have seen increased investor interest in Nigeria by the investment announcements that we track, with $90.9 billion of investment announcements in 2018, a 37% increase over the $66.4 billion tracked in 2017.
“We are interested in these announcements because we know that if we nurture them correctly, we can turn them into actual investments.
“By leveraging the EDF, I hope that we will continue to build on the existing foundation and work together on recording increased trade and investment flows, particularly in the areas where we have comparative advantages”.
Speaking on the efforts to boost investor confidence in the economy and improve the business environment, the Prof. Osinbajo said “as a government, we are not unmindful of the challenges that have hindered the business and investment environment in our country.
He said, “We have taken these challenges as opportunities and have made the extensive build-out of modern infrastructure (both hard and soft) as the main thrust of our Administration.
“In the last three years, the government has allocated and disbursed over N3.5 trillion from the National budgets to infrastructure.
The Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) has made significant progress in reducing bottlenecks, eliminating redundancies and increasing transparency across government ministries, departments and agencies.”
“There is undeniable evidence that the Buhari administration is repositioning the Nigerian economy for true growth and shared prosperity.”
On the relationship between Nigeria and United Kingdom, the Vice President said, “it is of strategic importance to Nigeria” while welcoming the opportunity to actively grow the commercial bilateral relationship with the United Kingdom through the Economic Development Forum (EDF).
“The deep and long-standing relationship between Nigeria and United Kingdom indicates that the current level of trade and investments between our countries is materially below the potential the relationship suggests, given that Africa represents only 2% of the UK’s trade relationships, and Nigeria represents only a tenth of that.
“All hands must be on deck, to ensure that we foster the right environment to grow the level of bilateral trade and investment between our great countries.”