The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr, Olusegun Aganga has explained that diversification of the economy is a sure way to achieve economic development and growth.
The minister who spoke during a facility tour of Sparkwest Steel Industries Limited in Ogun State, noted that the nation would remain poor forever if pays little or no attention to economic diversification.
He said that the fall in oil price was a warning to Nigeria to as a matter of urgency, look for new avenues to generate revenue for the country, advising that the time is now to take full advantage of areas where the country has competitive advantages to diversify its economy.
The minister who acknowledged that industrial companies such as Sparkwest are vital to achieve economic diversification said industries like this that will help Nigeria diversify her economy.
” This is why the president launched the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan NIRP to focus on areas where we have competitive advantage. We have to also commend the Ogun State government because without them, none of the new 57 industries would have come up in the state. There is also the need for State and the Federal government to partner to achieve industrial revolution in the country.
“People are saying industries are dying, but they are not, but growing every day. In the last 4 years, about 57 new industries have come out of Ogun State.
The president has visited Ogun State more than seven times to commission new factories. The same thing is happening in Abia State where Nigerian Breweries over the last 5 years have spent $1 billion having new plants in the country.
The brewery is the biggest and the best in Africa. The governor of the State was telling us that most of the industries that left Aba five years ago, are coming back to Aba,” he added.
Also speaking at the event, the Managing Director, Sparkwest Steel Industries Limited, Mr. Niyi Oyedele, said the company had grown out of an import business into a manufacturer of what it imports years ago to produce locally for the Nigerian market.
He added that the journey so far had been turbulent, pointing out that import duties on raw materials has continued to plague the growth of industrial development.
He commended the minister for reversing the duty to 5 per cent saying that industries have continued to experience some level of growth in their operations.