By Favour Nnabugwu & Priscilla Badugu
ABUJA—Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, declared, yesterday, that in spite of the present security challenges in the country, there has been a tremendous progress in the ongoing investment drive in the country as the Federal Government had secured N6.6 trillion investment commitment within 36 months from local and foreign investors.

Aganga disclosed this in Abuja, yesterday, at the Ministerial Platform in commemoration of National Democracy Day and first anniversary of President Goodluck Jonathan.

While explaining that the investment commitments were secured from the over 70 investor meetings held at home and abroad in line with the ministry’s aggressive investment drive and the transformation agenda of the President, Aganga noted that the recent meetings held last year alone showed a total commitment of N3.9 trillion for the next three years.

He stated that the country had attracted and signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will attract one billion dollar foreign direct investment in agriculture, mining and oil and gas.

The minister noted that a recent survey showed a total investment commit-ment of N2.7 trillion over the next three years from local investors, adding that there was also investment commitment of about N1.03 trillion in Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone, and N682 billion from other free trade zone with the target of 495,250 jobs creation at completion.

He said: “A breakdown of proposed investments from foreign companies showed that an American company, Vulcan Energy Internatio-nal, has finalised plans to invest N620 billion in the oil and gas sector of the Nigerian economy within the next one year.”

The foreign companies that expressed interest in mining, oil and gas, agriculture, manufacturing and infrastructure sectors of the economy, according to Aganga include, GE Healthcare (United King-dom), GE Electric (United States), TATA, RIO TINTO, NEWCREST, Nestle, PZ, P&G, Toyota, ZTE, Cargill, BASF, a consortium of European investors, among others.

Aganga also said Export-Import Bank of the United States, US EXIM, has made a N232.5 billion investment proposal for the power sector, while the Bakrie Group of Indonesia signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Trade and Investment for an investment package worth N155 billion in mining and rubber plantation in two states of the federation within the next five years.

Aganga explained that a committee had been formed to monitor the actual execution of the proposed investments within the time-frame given.

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