Asserting that if fully utilized, the private sector in the country has the wherewithal to move the Nigerian economy forward, Prof Osinbajo noted that the sector needs to be appreciated for what it has to offer at this critical period, when diversification is the focus of government.
The Vice President spoke over the weekend in Lagos where he had gone with the Lagos State Governor Akin Ambode and a number of federal ministers to visit the ongoing construction of the multi billion naira Dangote Refinery. The ministers were Power, Works & Housing Minister Raji Fashola, Industry, Trade & Investment Minister Okey Enelamah, Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun and Solid Minerals Development Minister Dr. Kayode Fayemi
“We can talk about how the private sector contributes to the economy of a nation and how easily we understand that it is the private sector that is the engine of growth for any economy. But unless you actually see it in action, you will not fully appreciate what that means.
Continuing he said “this particular visit is a very important one for us because it demonstrates very clearly what it means by the private sector being the engine room of growth in our economy,” he stated after he, the governor, and the ministers where briefed on the progress of the construction of a 650,000 barrels per day refinery by Alhaji Aliko Dangote and his executives.
The Vice President said the refinery being constructed by the Dangote Group would contribute to the development of Nigeria, and besides boosting oil production and the economy as a whole, it will also create employment for many citizens of the country.
Professor Osinbajo extended the President’s encouragement to Alhaji Dangote and his group, adding that: “I think that just looking at what has been done and looking at the projections for what would be done here, it is very clear that this is a part of growth for the nation and that is why supporting what you are doing here is not a favor that would be done to the Dangote Group but it’s an important part of our own building the Nigerian economy.”
He further said what is being built in the site is “not just about building a refinery, it is actually about developing an industrial hub, a modern industrial hub and enormous undertaking.”
Besides the refinery, a huge fertilizer plant expected to be the biggest in the world is also being constructed on the site at the Lekki Free Trade Zone in Lagos.
Describing the project as strategic, the VP noted “looking at just the subsea pipeline alone, it is a strategic asset for the nation, it is not just commercial, it is a strategic asset.”
Vice President Osinbajo expressed his excitement about the project, as he pledged more commitment and support from government, while appreciating the opportunity to look round and see the progress made so far by the private company in executing the projects.
Senior Special Assistant-Media & Publicity
In the Office of the Vice President
June 26, 2016