By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA-Vice president Yemi Osinbajo has assured local manufacturers of government’s readiness to create a healthy environment for them, saying that local production remained the objective of the present government.
The Vice President at a meeting in the Presidential Villa with a delegation from the Innoson Group and some Chinese business interests including Shangdong Broadcasting Group led by Chief Innocent Chukwuma, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Innoson Group.
“Manufacturing in Nigeria is a primary objective of this government, it is a work we intend to do in the next few years to manufacture and produce in Nigeria as much as we can”, he said
He explained that it was because of the administration’s commitment to spur manufacturing and local production in the country that the initiative of Innoson Group to work with Chinese partners is being addressed as a “strategic collaboration.”
According to a statement from the office of the Vice President, both Innoson and the Chinese firms had decided to invest about $1b in the Nigerian economy within the next 12 to 24 months.
The initiative, Osinbajo said “is bound to yield very good fruits and do very well,” adding also that the timing is right “as we are at a point that we must engage technological solutions in our development plans.”
He also explained the importance of competition and competitive pricing in such an effort.
“In all we try to do, we believe there must be competition, competitive prices and plans,” the Vice President noted, believing that the Chinese firms must have taken that into consideration as well.
Earlier, Chief Chukwuma detailed the investments intended by the Chinese firms to include: a credit facility of $300m for local production and supply of 5-8 million Set-Top Boxes for the Digital Switch-Over in broadcasting in the country to meet a target date of June 2017; an investment of $100m to establish technology-based Direct-To-Home Digital Bing Television Stations and further investment of $600m for Smart City CCTV camera and IT solutions for taxation, both using Cloud Computing, and E-Education IT solutions with big data centers in all federal universities and polytechnics in the country.
The Deputy Minister of the Communist Party in Shandong Province and Chairman of the Shandong Broadcasting Group, Mr Liu Baoju, and Mr. Huang Gang, Senior Vice President of Inspur Group were among dignitaries in the business delegation at the meeting.