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Published On: Tue, Feb 25th, 2014

World Bank, DFID to support Nigeria’s GEM project with $260m

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DFIDBy Clem Khena-Ogbena

The World Bank and the UK Department for International Department (DFID) have both concluded plans to assist the Federal Government of Nigeria’s own Growth and Employment (GEM) Project, with a whopping $260 million.

The disclosure was made by the Minister of Industry Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, while inaugurating an 8-man steering committee for the Growth and Employment (GEM) Project, aimed at enhancing job creation and increased non-oil growth in specific high-potential value chain sectors.

A statement from the office of the minister of industry, trade and investment, at the weekend, quoted the minister as saying at the inauguration in Abuja, on Tuesday, that the committee was critical to enhancing inclusive economic growth, through job creation and wealth generation.

He said, “The GEM Project is very important to the Federal Government and the Nigerian economy. It is an employment project by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment , supported by the World Bank and the UK Department For International Development (DFID).The World Bank is providing a loan of about $160m while the DFID is providing a grant of about $100m. The project is aimed at job creation and The minister added that FMITI, working with the World Bank and DFID, had already identified eight key sectors with potential for generating employment , adding that the impact of the implementation of the GEM programme would be felt in no distant future.

He said, “It is expected that the GEM programme, which will run from June 2013 to September 2018, will create a minimum of about 460,000 jobs, comprising of 110, 000 direct and 350, 000 indirect jobs. There are eight priority sectors that we have identified, based on their growth and employment potential, which are also areas of focus in our NIRP and NEDEP. They are: Information and Communications Technology;wholesale and retail; hospitality and tourism; meat and leather, construction and real estate, entertainment industry; agro processing, light manufacturing and entrepreneurial development’’.

The Committee is chaired by Aganga, with members drawn from the Ministries of Finance, Information and Communications Technology; Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, and Agriculture and Rural Development.

Speaking during the event, the World Bank Sector Leader, Finance and Private Sector Development in Nigeria, Mr. Michael Wong, said that the World Bank was committed towards the successful implementation of the project , adding that it would reach about 10,000 enterprises within the implementation period.

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