Nigeria is to enjoy a $160m (N31.5bn) growth and employment initiative from the World Bank aimed at stimulating economic activities in some sectors of the country.

This will also will also offer Nigerian companies in the targeted sectors access to finance and technical assistance.

World Bank Country Director, Mr. Rachid Benmessaoud, said the project would support the efforts of the Federal Government in industrialising the country.

He said this at the unveiling of the project in Abuja, which was attended by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah.

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“The government of Nigeria has identified security, job creation and governance as three key priorities. For job creation, its focus is on the need to create three million new jobs each year, and it aims to do this through industrialisation, public works and agricultural expansion, diversifying the economy away from reliance on oil revenues, Benmessaoud noted.

He also adds that, “The Growth and Employment Project is a major initiative aimed at stimulating job creation through the growth of specific, high potential non-oil sectors. It will make resources available to help address some of the key constraints identified by business, with emphasis on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, which are widely regarded as a vital engine for growth and job creation.”

Also speaking, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah said, “One of the challenges we have, which is well documented, is our ranking in the ease of doing business; it is depressing to know that Nigeria is ranked 169th out of 189. And we have told the World Bank what exactly are the issues.”

Nigeria is on the verge of a major economic breakthrough if its economic strategy go according to plan.