BY CHARLES NWAOGUJI
The Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to growing the made-in-Nigeria market in line with its determination to create more jobs and generate wealth for Nigerians.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, who disclosed this last week, during the inspection of the Secure ID production plant for smart cards in Lagos, said government’s policy on made-in-Nigeria products, which gave priority to the patronage of locally-made products will, among many other benefits, help curb the waste of foreign reserve on what could be manufactured in the country.
Aganga said already, the launch of the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) by President Goodluck Jonathan had kick-started the diversification of the economy and revenue source of the country since 2012.
According to the minister, for the first time in the history of the nation, Nigeria has a robust and comprehensive plan, which the current administration started implementing in 2012.
This, he noted, was to diversify the economy in the areas where Nigeria had competitive and comparative advantage.
“The Federal Government is ahead of the present fall of oil price today by focusing on agro-industrial processing such as sugarcane to sugar under the Sugar Master Plan Policy that has attracted $3 billion investment commitment; the development of local content and job creation under the auto policy and backward integration in cement and rice production, among others,” he said.
“Our approach has always been value addition, using local content, which had resulted to $14 billion investment into the oil and petrochemical industry. We have created a gas industrial park in Delta State mainly to provide a source of raw materials in the petrochemical sector.”
He stated that the beauty of NIRP was that it looks into the areas of competitive and comparative advantage and focuses on how to reduce the cost of production and make products produced in the country more competitive and easier for Nigerians to afford.
The Minister also pointed out that to boost industrial development, tariff adjustments were only being done on sectorial basis, stressing that tariffs to individual companies had been stopped since 2011.
“Our job as government is to provide the enabling environment for you. We are not doing you a favour, it is our job. That is our responsibility and I am delighted that my team is working with your team at Secure ID to address issues raised,” he observed.
The Chairman, Secure ID, Adedotun Sulaiman, noted that the company had received significant support from the Ministry and its parastatals with regard to its investment in the modern plant, which, he said, had the capacity to manufacture 200 million smart cards in a year.
Source : SunOnline