BY BEN AGANDE
ABUJA—President Goodluck Jonathan said yesterday that his administration will bequeath to Nigerians, a better Nigeria in all sectors than he met it when he assumed office.
He spoke yesterday at the launching of the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) and the National Enterprise Development Programme (NEPED) at Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa.
According to the President, the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan and the National Enterprise Development Programme will help to fast track the attainment of the goals of ensuring a strong economy and industrial base of the country.
He said the launch of the programmes were “targeted at transforming Nigerian businesses and changing the lives of the ordinary people. It will accelerate inclusive growth and job creation and save the drain on our reserve caused by importing what we can produce locally.
”The Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan, the National Entreprise Development Programme will also increase the impetus for our national transformation agenda by ushering in a new era of value addition, enterprise development and indusrialisation. I sincerely believe that the Nigerian economy must be developed into one of the most elements of national transformation.
That is why we have been resolute in executing the Nigerian agenda for economic reform. Our track record in this regard is stronger every year. Just coming into office we have consolidated Nigeria’s fiscal position.
“We have launched the boldest transformation of the agricultural sector and we are well on the way to increasing Nigeria’s food production by 20 million tonnes per annum.
“We have fundamentally reorganise the power sector by privatising 11 distribution and four generating companies and bringing in private sector capital and expertise. We have upgraded faciities within the Nigerian Aviation sector to standards never seen before in this country and we have started rail services that had been dormant for over 20 years.
“Our road network have also received unprecedented attention and improvement in the last three years. It is our expectation that the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan and the National Enterprise Development Programme will be major additions to these landmarks achievements,” the president said.
Describing the NIRP as the “the most ambitious industralisation programme ever pursued by our nation,” President Jonathan said the programme is aimed at accelerating investments in areas where “Nigeria’s comparative and competitive advantages can be better harnessed.”
He listed such areas as the processing of food and agricultural products, metals and solid mineral processing, adding that these sub sectors were prioritized because they will also generate jobs and tap into existing markets and demands in Nigeria.
“In each of these sectors we could become number one in Africa and in the top ten globally because of our competitive advantage,” the president said .
Jonathan added that the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan will also address the problem that has persistently limited manufacturers.
“It will build up industrial infrastructure, pioritise power for industrial use, reduce borrowing cost and mobilise funds to the real sector. The benefit of NIRP will boost the annual revenue earned by Nigerian manufacturers by up to N5 trillion per annum. We will leave Nigeria better than we met it,” the president said.