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Government restates commitment to industrial development

By Femi Adekoya
11 March 2020   |   3:35 am
The Federal Government has stated that relevant teams of the present administration are implementing policies and initiatives to achieve Nigeria’s industrialization drive.

Minister of State for Science and Technology, Mohammed Abdullahi (left); Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Niyi Adebayo and representative of the Director General, Raw Material Research and Development Council, Abimbola Ogunnusi and President, Manufactures Association of Nigeria, Mansur Ahmed during the Nigeria Manufacturing and Equipment expo 2020 in Lagos…yesterday. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

The Federal Government has stated that relevant teams of the present administration are implementing policies and initiatives to achieve Nigeria’s industrialization drive.

The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, explained that the present administration acknowledges the role of industrialisation in creating wealth and job opportunities for the nation’s teeming unemployed youths.

Osinbajo who was represented by the Minister of Industry Trade and Investment, Niyi Adenayo at the 5th Nigeria Manufacturing and Equipment Exhibition, Expo in Lagos, said though the business environment is hindered by multifaceted issues, he assured that the Buhari-led administration is working to address the concerns by introducing the made-in-Nigeria for the export programme.

The programme seeks to promote export-oriented agro-processing, as well as the establishment of special agric processing zones across the country.

According to him, the signing of the AfCFTA by Mr. President, present great opportunities for the manufacturing sector in Nigeria, saying since Nigeria is a target market, there is need to devise strategies to mitigate the risk of dumping.

He said Nigeria is gearing up to take maximum advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), but the challenges that remain are significant.

“This is why the negotiations going on presently are crucial,” he said.

He pointed out that the manufacturing sector is at the centre of its strategy for attaining sustainable growth and fulfilling the present administration’s plan to lift 100 million people out of poverty over the next ten years.

“No other sector provides a stronger linkage to creating new jobs, improving value addition, creating wealth for 50 per cent of our workforce who reside in the agricultural clusters sector. We must create good jobs and economic opportunities. We must rapidly industrialise, bridge the infrastructure gap and make the environment for large, medium and small businesses conducive. We must also increase the patronage of made-in-Nigeria goods,” he added.

Earlier, the president, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Mansur Ahmed, commended the Federal Government’s support for manufacturers particularly in ensuring that the operating environment becomes increasingly conducive to help businesses thrive notwithstanding the fast-growing competitive environment.

He said this year’s NME Expo is quite unique as it provides a common ground for large manufacturing organizations and SMEs to explore new production process that will increase their production output, saying that MAN has taken the challenge of leading the manufacturing sector to play a vital role in the nation’s vision of becoming one of the leading industrialized economies in Africa.

He said NIRAM Expo is aimed at creating a platform where stakeholders in the raw materials supply chain will come together to synergize, display and trade in available resources and raw materials with the users of these products.

“With this in mind, we intend to close the information gaps and encourage local sourcing of available raw materials by manufacturing industries which are in line Government backward integration programme.

The theme of the 2020 EXPO is “The Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Nigerian Manufacturing sector”. The theme is informed by the observed global trends and current development experienced in some developing nations, which have used industrialization as a growth tool to drive and transform their economy as well as improve their standards of living,” he added.

He pointed out that the emergence of new technology, changing markets, and the upcoming African free trade market calls for stakeholders collaboration to anticipate and respond appropriately to the evolving manufacturing eco-system which is been ushered in the rapid adoption of this new and innovative technology.

The Director-General, Raw Materials Research and Development Council, RMRDC, Prof. Hussaini Ibrahim, said the manufacturing industry stands at the forefront of an effective diversification of the Nigerian economy, hence the need to harness the technologies available in this modern age to give the manufacturing sector an edge in the diversification agenda.