By Princewill Ekwujuru
Governor Raji Fashola Â Â Â of Lagos has commissioned the N3.5 billion Nuticima Limited plant located in Ikorodu, Lagos State.
The plant a collaborative effort between PZ Cusson, UK and Glanbia Plc of Ireland is the ultra modern Ready To Drink (RTD) factory for Bliss, Yo and Nunu products from the stable of Nutricima
Fashola who praised the decision of the companies to invest N3.5 billion despite the global economic downturn, said, even though some companies are leaving Nigeria to re- invest in otherÂ West African countries, the decision by both companies to establish the plant in Nigeria is an indication that there are potentials that still exists inÂ the Nigerian industrial sector that needed to be tapped.
Fashola observedÂ that the decision of both companies is borne out of a solid belief that Nigeria has the potentials, population, capacity and the ability to be the economic hub of West Africa.
The governor who blamedÂ lack of infrastructure on the predicament of manufacturersÂ called for tax relief for manufacturers, which in effect has been responsibility for under performance of manufacturers.Â He noted thatÂ manufacturers spend about 40 percent of their invests on infrastructure, particularly to power their activities said this is unhealthy for the manufacturing sector and the development of the economy.
His words, â€œour role is to provide a conducive environment for companies to thriveâ€, he assured that theÂ Lagos State governmentÂ will do what is within its reach to provide a level playing groundÂ for investments to thrive in the state.
Collaborating, Chief. Achike Udenwa, Minister of Commerce and Industry, said that theÂ decision by both companies to invest N3.5 billion is a clear endorsement and support for the present Administrationâ€™s desire to push Nigeria into the top 20 industrialized nations of the world by 2020. â€œThis vision is borne out of a solid belief that we have the potentials, population, capacity and the ability to be in this elite group in the world by the target date.â€
His words, . â€œNigeriaâ€™s industrial policy is anchored on the need to accelerate the pace of industrial development through greater utilization of the nationâ€™s human and natural resources to positively transform the lives of our teeming population.â€
Continuing, he said that federal governmentâ€™s priority is to increase Total Factor Productivity (TFP) with emphasis on knowledge and capital-intensive manufacturing, application of new technology, innovation, best management practices and a more efficient utilization of resources to promote the development patterns in our society and the needs of Nigeriaâ€™s growing middle class.