Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed says N348.1 trillion investment commitment is required for the successful implementation of the 2021-2025 National Development Plan (NDP).
She made the declaration on Thursday in Abuja at the inauguration of the Board of Directors of the Nigeria Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Forum.
“The Ministry of Finance Budget and National Planning Commission has developed a National Development Plan 2021 to 2025.
“This plan cannot be achieved by government alone; the private sector and SMEs have a huge role in the implementation of the plan.
“To effectively implement the plan by 2025, it is expected to achieve an economic growth rate of 4.6 per cent.
“It is also expected to lift 35 million people out of poverty and create 29 million jobs.
“To attain this objective, a total of N348.1 trillion investment commitments are required and this commitment is not coming from government alone.
“In fact, 80 per cent of these resources are coming from the private sector.
“The sum of N298 trillion will be funded by the private sector.
“We are expecting SMEs to fund part of this as part of private sector’s contribution, while N49.7 trillion is expected from government,’’ the minister said.
Represented by an official of the ministry, Mr Auwal Mohammed, the minister reminded the SMEs that they have a critical role to play in the effective implementation of the plan.
According to her, the SME sector has been the backbone of major development as well as important contributor to employment and economic growth.
Earlier, Chairman of the Forum, Dr Albert Akinyemi, expressed worries at the rejection of some Nigerian products abroad because of their low quality.
According to him, there is a lot of rejection of Nigerian products abroad because of quality and the Federal Government is aware of it and working assiduously to address it.
Akinyemi identified funding as the major challenge confronting the growth of SMEs in Nigeria.
According to him “the Federal Government has so many interventions but because of what I will call the Nigerian factor, the story has not been good.
“Some people will be blaming the Federal Government but it is not true; the problem emanated from the SMEs themselves and the officials.
“For instance some banks will say we don’t have the experience or collateral security.’’ he said.
He said that the time was ripe for SMEs to work together in presenting their challenges to government with a view to addressing them.
Nigeria’s NDP 2021-2025 is a medium term blue print to unlock Nigeria’s potential in all sectors of the economy for a sustainable holistic and inclusive national development.
The plan is a successor to the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017 -2020 which lapsed in December 2020.