By Yemisi Izuora
The Federal Government has expressed commitment toward the growth of Made-in-Nigeria market in line with the determination to create more jobs and generate wealth for Nigerians.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, 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 who spoke during the inspection of the Secure ID production plant for smart cards in Lagos, said, already, the launch of the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan 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.
Aganga said, “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.
“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 added, “The beauty of NIRP is 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 said.
The Chairman, Secure ID, Adedotun Sulaiman while speaking noted that the company has 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.
He urged Government to review upward the tariff on importation of finished sheet, smart cards and magnetic stripe to enable them compete better with imported finished products, while calling for a downward review of import duty on raw materials to five per cent.