Against the backdrop of ensuring grassroots development, the Federal Government of Nigeria has urged investment in resilient communities by the private sector and particularly by financial institutions.
Addressing the Nexus II Summit held on Tuesday in Abuja, the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said: “To our development partners, we welcome your partnership and urge you to support the investment in resilient communities by employing existing de-risking mechanisms and instruments in order to further the type of development that Nigeria truly needs; helping Nigerians to help themselves.”
Speaking about the Nexus Summit, she acknowledged that it is only by ensuring inclusivity that long-lasting solutions and peace could be achieved. “We must look at ways of attracting financing from the private sector for development in order to ensure sustainable job creation for young people all over Nigeria”, she said.
According to her, building local capacity and working hand in hand with Nigerian-led initiatives is the way to enable true economic growth and financial stability.
In her words: “Nexus II Summit begins the much needed second phase of engagement with the private sector, but most importantly it is of investment discussions with financial institutions. We must move beyond merely donating money to people to investing in people and their communities.”
Also speaking in the light of the vision for Nigeria, to lift 100 million people out of poverty within the next 10-year period, as outlined by President Buhari at the beginning of this government, Ahmed said further: “We can only do this through investment and financing for development.”
The Honourable Minister applauded Nigeria’s Development Bank – the Bank of Industry (BOI) for taking the initiative within the financial sector, and for moving from the hand-out model to what she termed ‘the handup’, and for investing in people and in conflict afflicted societies.
By doing so, BOI has, according to Ahmed, not only begun kick-starting economies in conflict afflicted areas but also taking the first step to lifting the communities from dependence towards dignity and self-sustainability. She said such catalytic action would no doubt have a significant ripple effect through the financial sector.
Reiterating the federal government decision to ensure inclusive growth and sustainable development across Nigeria, Ahmed stated: “It is important to acknowledge that it is only by ensuring inclusivity that long-lasting solutions and peace can be achieved. We must look at ways of attracting financing from the private sector for development in order to ensure sustainable job creation for young people all over Nigeria.”
She noted that Nigeria and Nigerian initiatives must go to scale, saying, “this is no time for pilot programmes, but as we move from reaching thousands of people to millions, we can only achieve this jointly by going to scale. In this spirit, I encourage the banking sector to take this initiative a step further, by crowding in financing and leveraging upon these initiatives to achieve results.”
At the Summit, she emphasised the government’s commitment to reform, to supporting investment in human capital development and entrepreneurship activity particularly in conflict and crisis affected areas of the country, adding that the government is also committed to ensuring that the life of every citizen is positively impacted wherever they are across the nation.