FG Inaugurates NCCC to Fast-Track Economic Recovery

The federal government on Tuesday inaugurated the National Consultative Committee for Competitiveness (NCCC) in Raw Materials and Products Development

to fast-track the economic recovery of the country.

It noted that the country would save N3 trillion with proper implementation of the national strategy aimed at reducing importation by 10.8 per cent in the first five years of its implementation.

The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogonnaya Onu, while inaugurating the committee in Abuja yesterday, noted that the national strategy was also developed to reposition the country on the path of sustainable economic development with irreversible indigenous industrial revolution.

According to him, "this national strategy is a fact-based framework designed to harness the potentials of the country's Research and Development (R&D) institutions in partnership with industries and businesses, to fast-track and redirect the high-way to orderly economic recovery, double digit growth and sustainable development."

The minister added: "Among the unique features of this home-grown national strategy is the corresponding charting, mapping and linkages of several R&D institutions, industries and businesses; Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in line with the promised and sequenced projects of intervention along stratified United Nations Standard International Trade Classification (SITC) scheme.

"In line with the current change towards zero tolerance to corruption and the desire for prudence and fragility in management of public funds, this strategy emphasises the globally-accepted Result-Based Management Logical Framework (RMLF) for the implementation of all projects," Onu noted.

The minister revealed that the national strategy, if well implemented would result to significant reduction in importation, while also increasing the acceptability of Made-in-Nigeria products both locally and internationally.

Onu stressed: "In short term period of 5 years implementation effort, by reducing importation by 10.8 per cent, we will be able to save as much as N3 trillion. The reduction in importation is expected to rise to 31 per cent and later 50 per cent respectively in the midterm (10 years) and long term (15 years).

The minister expressed confident that the national strategy would boost the foreign exchange earnings of the country and further strengthen the country's foreign reserves.

"It is important to point out that the ability to boost local content of Nigerian manufacturers and service providers to over 50 per cent in short term and about 80 per cent in the long term will result in massive employment generation of 4.4 million high quality jobs from the 22 project areas," he said.

Earlier, the Director General, Raw Materials and Development Council (RMDC), Dr. Hussaini Ibrahim, said the days of excess foreign exchange earnings and huge foreign exchange reserves are over, hence; it was imperative to introduce measures and implement strategies that would stabilise and bolster the economy for orderly recovery and sustainable growth.

He noted that the strategy realises that a nation's competitiveness depends on the capacity of its citizenry and industries to innovate and upgrade their technologies, while companies gain advantage against the world's best competitors because of pressure and challenges.

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