ERGP focus laboratories will increase productivity – Udoma

Focus labs, popularly known as Malaysia style focus labs, is an initiative focusing on key areas, which reflects the five executive priorities of the ERGP.

Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, said the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan focus laboratories initiative would raise the level of productivity in the country.
Focus labs, popularly known as Malaysia style focus labs, is an initiative focusing on key areas, which reflects the five executive priorities of the ERGP.
Udoma said this at the Media Conference on the ERGP focus Labs on Thursday in Abuja.
He said the aim of the Federal Government to embark on the initiative was to produce and promote made- in-Nigeria goods through ERGP focus labs.
He said: “We want more opportunities created for Nigerians to be able to work. That is what the focus labs are all about.”
According to him, the focus labs’ structure has never been used in Nigeria.
He said that the government would invite potential and existing investors, both foreign and local, who may be interested in investing in any of the three key areas.
Udoma said: “The three areas are Agriculture and Transportation, Power and Gas, Manufacturing and Processing.
“In short, the focus labs will involve stakeholders from public and private sectors working together in a single environment to think out practical and workable solutions for delivering the kind of results Nigeria needs.
“The central objectives of the labs will be to bring in private capital to finance projects across the country.”
Udoma said the labs would be conducted by relevant ministries responsible for those sectors, adding that the ministry had also set up an ERGP implementation Team.
He said the team would be responsible for organising and facilitating the labs.
He said: “They will be supported by Malaysia consultants PEMANDU, who will share with us their experience in conducting similar very successful process labs.”
According to the minister, the ministry will invite officials of state governments to participate because most of the projects will be located in the states.
Udoma said: “The support of the states will be critical for the take-off of many of the projects.
“At labs, we will also be able to identify new opportunities that investors may wish to exploit, or develop in the course of the labs.”
Udoma, while fielding questions from journalists, said some of the projects identified in the ERGP would address infrastructure deficit.
He said the government would welcome investors in that area and others.
He said: “The labs will be extended to other sectors of the economy, we are only starting from the three areas.”
The minister assured that the coming election would not affect the implementation of ERGP as the administration was committed to putting the economy on the part of growth.
Udoma said the labs would be formally launched by President Muhammadu Bahari on Tuesday, March 13.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the ERGP is a medium-term plan, 2017-2020, launched by the President in April 2017.
ERGP sets out the direction of government policy for the economy to put it on path of a strong, diversified, inclusive and sustainable growth.