The federal government is already harvesting the benefits of the just concluded meeting on the Forum for African Cooperation (FOCAC) in China according to Okechukwu Enelemah, Nigeria’s Minister of Industry Trade and Investment who revealed that a $2 billion investment commitment into
Nigeria’s cotton, textile and garment sector has been received from a Chinese company, Rui Group.
Enelemah gave the information while briefing newsmen on Tuesday. He also revealed that the federal government has targeted 18 months to ensure a definite agreement has reached all stakeholders.
The investment, he explained would go along the value chain from growing cotton, textiles. The investors also extended their investment commitments into Nigeria’s special economic zones.
“For a country of 200 million, we need more industrial parks to aid more trade facilitation, to integrate economies, and inter-link various market chains and values.”
According to Enelemah, ”Our goal is to ensure that within one year, we would have succeeded with the first phase of the investments in this area in feasibility planning, with other financial commitment following accordingly”
He noted further that the government has shown more commitments to these special economic zones, that is why there are commitments from the Afrexim Bank, and other Development financiers to create a trade facilitation ground that would stimulate the growth of the economy.
The beneficiary economic zones include Enyimba City in Aba, Lekki Model Industrial Park in the Lekki Free Trade Zone and the Kano Free Trade Zone.
Enelemah also noted that the federal government is working closely with the Afrexim Bank with on the Special Economic Zones and the Industrial Parks, which he revealed one is to be sited in Nnewi and others in Kano state and in Lagos.
“The Nnewi automotive Industrial parts, the master plan has been designed, and we are looking forward towards engaging investors for the commitments”Enelemah noted.
Further on the benefits of the industrial park, the Minister pointed out that the focus of the National Industrial Park is to have an industrial park that would be a converging point for both foreign and local investors, having a meeting point to transact businesses.
Speaking further on the automotive policy, Enelemah noted that although there has been slow pace trajectory on the policy, there is the need for the policy to deliver wholistically what the intentions are.
”You need local manufacturers, you need financing, you need to ensure that people are not dumping the old cars here with second-hand value at the expense of the locally produced ones, and new ones,” he said.
We are are making the necessary push for the National Automotive Industrial Development Plan, NAIDP to be signed to grow investors confidence into the sector.”Enelemah added.
The Minister further informed that there are fresh commitments by investors on the various policies of the government pointing out that the Sugar, Cement and tomatoes policy is receiving heightened attention from stakeholders with growing investors confidence.
“As you could see, cotton is the major focus of the industrial parks, as you could see on the investment commitments by the Rui Group. On tomatoes, we have passed the tariff to encourage local production, and we are now working with the players to ensure they have requisite financing for the implementation”