The federal government has said that it is prepared to collaborate with potential investment partners in critical sectors of the nation’s economy so as to expedite recovery.
Some of the areas, the government said includes; domestication of production of key commodities through Backward Integration Programs, driving the growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), especially through access to finance and markets; and cultivating investments particularly through improving the ease of doing business in the country.
Disclosing this in Lagos at JCI Africa and Middle East Senate Association (AMESA) Conference, themed; “building emerging leaders for Africa and the Middle East,” the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo, said the country remains the best investment destination in Africa.
Speaking on the topic, “Opportunities and potentials of trade and investments in Nigeria,” Adebayo, noted that the country’s overall policy thrusts are built around three thematic areas of focus.
He said, “With the nation’s BIP, the ministry has intensified efforts to increase local production, increase job opportunities and provide foreign exchange through the domestication of identified priority products namely Automobiles, Palm Oil, Dairy, Sugar, Cassava Starch and Cotton, Textiles and Garments.
“For Automobiles, our focus is on boosting activities around the local assembly of vehicles and auto component manufacturing by providing fiscal incentives, stimulating demand through targeted government patronage and establishment of consumer credit schemes and to improve economies of scale.”
“For Sugar, through the provision of fiscal incentives, import quota allocations, physical infrastructure for irrigation and foreign exchange to operators, we are driving the production of Sugar. For Oil Palm, we are intensifying efforts to facilitate investments across the value chain to increase the local production of Crude Palm Oil (CPO) and its derivatives.
“For Cassava Starch, we are focused on bringing in large-scale investors to increase the production of cassava starch. For Cotton, Textiles and Garments, our strategy here is to improve the cost competitiveness of textile production and leverage Special Economic Zones (SEZs) for garment production for export, ”he added.
Explaining the reason for the birth of the policy drive, the Minister stated that each of the key areas is targeted at meeting
Adebayo further said that the development of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and addressing the challenges of poor packaging, labelling and quantity of manufactured goods by MSMEs would mitigate the rejection of made in Nigeria products and ensure sustainability in the global market.
The minister also listed other areas the government is working to make Nigeria investment friendly, including the National Action Committee on the AfCFTA, the enactment of the CAMA Act, Special Agroprocessing Zones (SAPZs).
“I would like to reiterate that potential investors should make use of all the investment resources and guides provided by the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), such as the Book of States which consist of the competitive advantages and the key investment opportunities in each of Nigeria’s 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and the “iGuide Nigeria”, an online investment guide to help investors make better-informed decisions about investing in Nigeria.
“I would like to conclude this address by saying that we are open to strategic collaboration with potential investment partners in all the areas I have touched on in this speech,” he added.
On his part, the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu who was represented by the Commissioner for Agriculture, Abisola Olusanya stressed the need for governments to focus investment on the youths as they remain the force for the future of the nation’s economic recovery.
“Going by the theme of this conference “Building Emerging Leaders for Africa and the Middle East”, it has become evident that both the African continent and the Middle East region need now more than ever, to invest in as well as build the capacity of young adults and youths to meet up with the challenges of the 21st century as well as future demands.
“Investing in the youths and in their leadership potentials as well as helping the younger generation build their leadership capacity from now will help lay a structure and solid foundation upon which our development in Africa and the Middle East will thrive,” he said.