The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), has assured that despite the current challenges facing Nigeria, the country’s ‘extremely bright economic future’ cannot be aborted.
The Vice President stated this on Tuesday, during a facility tour of SecureID’s premises, a smart card manufacturing company, which is based in Lagos.
A statement issued by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, on Wednesday, said SecureID is the first of such companies in sub-Saharan Africa and one of the three such cutting-edge facilities on the continent, with top prime global certifications.
According to the statement, while inspecting the facility, Professor Osinbajo had said “the economic future of our nation is extremely bright. Yes, we have challenges today and they may look daunting. But let me assure you that these issues will be resolved. The march of this nation to its manifest destiny as Africa’s leading economic power will not be aborted. We are more than able to overcome.”
He further said the Buhari administration in “following the recommendation of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council, has determined that manufacturing will be our main focus in bringing about dynamic growth, jobs and exports. This will mean retooling our business environment for greater competitiveness, especially with the take-off of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement.
“We are rethinking our tax regimes, sorting out external and internal trade issues, getting our regulatory authorities; SON, NAFDAC, and even Customs, to see their roles more as business facilitators rather than policemen or revenue generators. Our environment must be friendly for local businesses first, foreign investments will follow enthusiastically.”
Commenting on the efforts of the administration to position the country as a leading economic beacon on the continent, the VP also stated that the Buhari administration was ramping up efforts in improving the country’s infrastructure and digital space.
He said, “aside from the work we are doing with other infrastructure such as rail, roads and power we are committed to a plan of democratizing broad band connectivity. Our programme, which we have reiterated in our Economic Sustainability Plan, is broadband connectivity for all by 2023.
“The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy launched the National Broadband Plan which is designed to deliver data download speeds across Nigeria of a minimum 25mbps in urban areas and 10mbps in rural areas, with effective coverage available to at least 90% of the population at affordable prices by the target date. Broadband connectivity is as important as electricity in the digital age unlike electricity we do not have to make several mistakes before getting it right.”
While commending the efforts of the founder and Managing Director of SecureID, Mrs Kofo Akinkugbe, Prof. Osinbajo described SecureID facility as a place of history, innovation and creativity.
He said, “This world-class manufacturing facility is reputed to be the first certified smartcard manufacturing plant in sub-Saharan Africa, the only smart card production and personalization plant in West Africa and one of only six on the continent and one of only 80 in the world.
“The facility serves 21 countries across Africa and is fully certified by major commercial card companies – VISA, Verve and MasterCard. SecureID has shown that this country can be at the cutting edge of development in technology and digital enterprises. The world in which companies like SecureID operates, providing comprehensive end-to-end payment, identity management and digital security solutions is one that thrives on innovation.”