The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Monday inaugurated the state-of-the-art Toyota Service and Research Facility in Lagos State.
Osinbajo also applauded the Managing Director, Toyota Nigeria Limited, Mr Kunle Ade-Ojo, as well as its board and management, for the landmark event.
According to the Vice President, the private sector is expected to invest N298 trillion or about 86 per cent of the projected investments in the National Development Plan(NDP) 2021-2025.
The vice president explained that in line with its objective of creating a more conducive business environment in Nigeria, the Federal Government would continue to deepen business reforms and partner with the private sector to ensure wholesome national development.
“It is important to restate that the Federal Government has committed itself to partner with the private sector, recognising that the private sector is better equipped and resourced to lead the development of the economy.”
He said that public-private synergy was the crux of the NDP as the Federal Government remained committed to the reforms being driven by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC).
“The president has by several directives, approvals and executive orders set in motion and in many cases with the private sector, the most aggressive drive yet for appropriate infrastructure, power, roads, rail, and broadband connectivity.
“This includes ensuring that our ports work smoothly for trade purposes, building new port complexes and dredging of existing but disused ports, ensuring that government regulators facilitate rather than hinder business operations.
“It is this imperative of aggressively supporting private sector stakeholders that resulted in the 7th iteration of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council’s (PEBEC) 60-day National Action Plan (NAP 7.0), which commenced on Feb.7 and will go on till April 7.
“It aims to deepen the reforms delivered over the past five years with a focus on exports, process automation, improvement in regulatory practices, judicial reforms and Executive Order 01/ReportGov.NG compliance.”
He said that NDP was a collaboration between the government and the private sector, with an investment commitment of N348 trillion.
“The private sector is expected to invest N298trillion or about 86 per cent of the projected investments.
“This simply means that government must create the most conducive environment for private enterprise in Nigeria.
“This I am sure you have heard several times, but I must say that this is now absolutely existential for our economy.”
He highlighted some other government interventions such as the Investing in Digital and Creative Enterprises programme(i-Dice), an over 600 million dollar facility by the AfDB launched by the President recently and the Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme (NJFP).
According the vice president, the i-Dice programme will support young tech and creative sector entrepreneurs through the provision of finance, skills development and infrastructure.
He said that under the NJFP, 20,000 graduates, after their youth service, would be given fully-paid internships that would last for 12 months in reputable private and public sector organisations across the country.
Osinbajo said that the Toyota Certified Service Centre, was more than just about providing quality after-sales services.
He said the centre was being developed as a teaching, research and resource centre, to provide dealers with world-class, practical hands-on training.
“The facility has been built to standards comparable to the most sophisticated around the world, with the latest best-in-class equipment and modern technology designed to deliver superior, world-class services to vehicle owners in Nigeria.
A statement issued by Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, quoted the vice president as saying “I think Toyota Nigeria deserves commendation for its focus on capacity development in the automotive industry.”
Osinbajo said the Toyota facility would help in reducing the skill gap in the populace and further boost the nation’s industrialisation efforts.
“One of the chief problems in our industrialisation effort is the skills gap, especially middle cadre technical and engineering skills.
“So, an intentional and aggressive public and private sector synergy in developing this type of capacity is crucial.
“Our work with the private sector at the Nigerian Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Advisory Council underscored and honed this approach,” he said.
The vice president said that Ade-Ojo had demonstrated that it was possible to be honest and principled and still be an outstanding local and international business success.