By James Emejo
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Niyi Adebayo has assured investors using local raw materials that the federal government will accord them priority in the allocation of foreign exchange for the procurement of machines and other equipment which are not readily available in the country.
Speaking while receiving the Greece Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Ioannis Plotas in his office recently, the minister he said the country was well endowed, adding any willing investors would be assisted in every way to ensure the success of their investment.
The Greek envoy had told the minister that he was in his office following requests by Greek businessmen who were interested in investing in the country for necessary information and guidance on investment opportunities in the country.
Adebayo, however, said told the federal government would assist foreign investors by creating a conducive environment for them to conduct their businesses.
While expressing the federal government’s willingness to have the foreign investors set up in the country, Adebayo, further encourage them to consider setting up agro-allied companies using the abundant agricultural products in the country.
He further assured that willing investors would not have issue with getting foreign exchange to import machines and other equipment needed for their businesses as long as they made use of local materials.
Meanwhile, the minister at a meeting with the power sector leaders on the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA) has listed conditions precedent for the successful realisation of the country’s objectives in ratifying the agreement.
These according to him included, building the capacity to produce goods and services to sufficiently high levels to unleash the benefit of the economics of scale; improving price competitiveness of Nigerian products through improvements in production, trade logistics, and quality infrastructure and mitigating the threats of predatory trade practices including smuggling, dumping, abuses of rules of origin among others.
In a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Ifedayo Sayo, Adebayo noted that AfCFTA complements Nigeria’s export diversification aspiration as it provides preferential market access for Nigerian products and services in the vast African market.
He said the AfCFTA also provided a platform for African manufacturers of goods and service providers to construct regional value chains of made in Africa goods and services.
The minister said: “AfCFTA besides export diversification and economic growth success in AfCFTA will also be measured in terms of our ability to create jobs for our teeming youth population, grow our local content, and develop forward and backward linkages in priority products and services.
“I must mention that electricity is a top 20 traded services in Africa and the sector will remain a high growth area for a while to come. So not only is there the opportunity to grow the domestic market, we must also evaluate and take advantage of the market in Africa.
“I must also acknowledge your immense and ongoing contributions towards the growth and development of a vibrant Power Sector in Nigeria. A lot has been achieved and a lot is being done. I enjoin you all to maintain and grow the tempo to encourage our domestic and foreign investors and our manufacturers to continue to place their bet on Nigeria.”