…Seeks Industrialists cooperation on AfCTA
BY Victoria Ojeme
Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo on Monday assured investors using local raw materials that they will be given priority in foreign exchange allocation for the procurement of machines and other equipment that are not readily available in Nigeria.
Consequently, the Federal Government said it will be happy if the Greek investors considered investing in the power nation’s sector.
This is as Greek businessmen seek the Minister’s guidance on investment opportunities in the country.
Speaking while playing host to Greece Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Ioannis Plotas in his office, he said the country is well endowed and any willing investors would be assisted in every way to ensure the success of their investment.
Plotas had told the Minister that he was in his office following requests by Greek businessmen who were interested in investing in the country for necessary information and guidance on investment opportunities in the country.
Adebayo said, “Federal Government will assist foreign investors by creating a conducive environment for them to conduct their businesses.
Besides, he wanted Greek investors to consider setting up agro-allied companies using the abundant agricultural products in the country.
He assured that willing investors will not have issue with getting foreign exchange to import machines and other equipment needed for their businesses as long as they made use of local materials.
Meanwhile, the Minister at a meeting with the power sector leaders on the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA) on Monday listed conditions precedent for the successful realization of the country’s objectives in ratifying the agreement.
They are: (i) building the capacity to produce goods and services to sufficiently high levels to unleash the benefit of the economics of scale; (ii) improving price competitiveness of Nigerian products through improvements in production, trade logistics, and quality infrastructure, (iii) mitigating the threats of predatory trade practices including smuggling, dumping, abuses of rules of origin among others.
He noted that AfCFTA complements Nigeria’s export diversification aspiration as it provides preferential market access for Nigerian products and services in the vast African market.
Besides, it also provides a platform for African manufacturers of goods and service providers to construct regional value chains of made in Africa goods and services.
“AfCFTA besides export diversification and economic growth success in AfCFTA will also be measured in terms of our ability to create jobs for our teeming youth population, grow our local content, develop forward and backward linkages in priority products and services.
“I must mention that electricity is a top 20 traded services in Africa and the sector will remain a high growth area for a while to come. So not only is there the opportunity to grow the domestic market, we must also evaluate and take advantage of the market in Africa.
“I must also acknowledge your immense and ongoing contributions towards the growth and development of a vibrant Power Sector in Nigeria. A lot has been achieved and a lot is being done. I enjoin you all to maintain and grow the tempo to encourage our domestic and foreign investors and our manufacturers to continue to place their bet on Nigeria.
“The objective for this meeting is to create awareness on the AfCFTA and Nigeria’s AfCFTA implementation programme. I expect that this meeting to kick off conversations on your roles in making AfCFTA a success and your expectations from the government,” he said.