Vice-President (Prof.) Yemi Osinbajo in a Virtual Meeting from Office, in Abuja, FCT

Federal Government set to inject $600m to boost Nigeria digital economy

*Vice-President (Prof.) Yemi Osinbajo discloses the Nigeria digital economy is a big project currently receiving the attention of the Federal Government in a move to enhance productivity and value addition as the guiding principle for all sectors in the country

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

As a strategy to enhance productivity by focusing on value addition as the guiding principle for all sectors of the economy, the Federal Government has disclosed plans to boost the Nigeria digital economy with a $600million Innovation Fund from the African Development Bank (AfDB), Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

ConsumerConnect reports Vice-President (Prof.) Yemi Osinbajo stated this development during a virtual interaction at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Country Strategy Dialogue on Nigeria earlier in the week.

The WEF Dialogue series, held in select countries of the world, is aimed at promoting productive conversations about growth and investment.

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Mr. Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Vice-President in a statement issued in Abuja, FCT, noted Prof. Osinbajo said: “We have a $600million Innovation Fund with the African Development Bank which we hope will really energise the industry.”

Osinbajo identified the digital economy as an area that is “big for us and the next couple of years, and we are focusing on it.”

The Vice-President stated that the government’s strategy is to enhance productivity by focusing on value addition as the guiding principle for all sectors, especially agriculture, manufacturing, solid minerals, digital services, tourism, hospitality, and entertainment.”

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Prof. Osinbajo further noted that the Federal Government’s plans to revamp the country’s agricultural sector.

He stated: “We are also looking at reciprocity for incentives, we have a very robust incentive regime but we think it’s time to really look at reciprocity.

Nigerian mobile Internet consumers

“What jobs are created? Where is the value addition in return for these fiscal and other incentives?

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“It is important to loosen generalised restrictions on trade and focus instead on allowing imports of goods to which value can be added before domestic consumption or exportation.”

Activating key sectors of economy in new national development plan

In connection with the new National Development Plan, Osinbajo said that the new strategic direction would enable the country to achieve a GDP growth rate higher than the rate of growth of the population and enable more social inclusion.

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“Three broad objectives of our post-COVID-19 development strategy; the first is to overcome the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the second is to achieve a GDP growth rate that is higher than the rate of growth of population and the third broad objective is to enable more social inclusion,” said he.

The Vice-President further stated that in monetary policy terms “a key issue is the availability and cost of accessing foreign exchange.

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“It would also be important, in my view, to increase foreign exchange inflows in the economy.”

Besides, Osinbajo explained that rather than expending energy on managing the distribution of 5,000MW that is currently being transmitted through the National Grid in the electricity sector, the focus must be on increasing the supply of electricity.

According to him, these include allowing mini-grids, pushing solar power connections, and allowing integrated power companies to emerge.

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