Mr Babatunde Fashola, Nigeria’s Minister for Power, Works and Housing, says the promotion of manufacturing sector is high on the agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
Fashola made this known on Tuesday in Lagos, South-West Nigeria at the opening of the fourth Manufacturing and Equipment Expo (NME) and Nigerian Raw Materials Expo (NIRAM).
Its theme was: “Optimizing the Value Chain in the Manufacturing Sector to Ensure Sustainable Growth and Competitiveness.”
Fashola said that the Federal Government was committed to enabling the private sector to operate at its optimum capacity, especially in the manufacturing sector.
According to him, this is by creating an attractive collaborative environment between the public and the private sector.
The minister said that government would enable the private sector to drive the economy, while playing a regulatory role with focus on removing constraints and bottlenecks to growth and enterprise.
“The Buhari’s administration, in a bid to develop the manufacturing sector, has intensified activities in the provision of basic infrastructure such as roads, power generation, rail lines and water.
“Improved transport infrastructure is expected to improve time and cost of access to raw materials and finished goods and ensure wider markets for the sales of manufactured goods,” he said.
The minister said that government’s focus on revamping comatose roads like Enugu/Port Harcourt Roads; Apapa/Oworonsoki; Lagos-Ibadan; Kano-Maiduguri and Lagos-Benin Road was not accidental:
“It is targeted at increasing manufacturing capacity and national productivity; and the projects are making progress toward early completion.”
The minister noted that the National Housing Programme currently ongoing with about 3, 000 housing units built in 34 states in the country and FCT was being constructed, using locally produced products.
Fashola said that the Eligible Customer Policy projects introduced by the government to provide steady power to heavy consumers already had many manufacturers listed as beneficiaries and applicants.
“The commitment of President Buhari-led administration to Made-in-Nigeria is an all embracing and multi-sectoral pursuits.
“In the same way that it affects agricultural and local content in manpower and construction, so does it seek to unleash a manufacturing revolution in Nigeria,” he said.
Fashola, represented by Mr Tena Ibeh, a Director in the ministry, said it was clear that the administration means business with manufacturers.
He said that the recent directive to strengthen textile industry was a further proof.
The minister said that the NME/NIRAM Expo had the potential to reinvigorate Nigeria’s economy and diversify its over-reliance on oil.
Also, Abubakar Bwari, the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, said that the Federal Government had initiated policies and programmes aimed at diversifying the country’s revenue base.
Bwari said that the mining was identified as a sector that would reposition and facilitate the government’s diversification efforts and additional revenue source.
He said no sector operates in isolation, adding that every manufacturer need to ensure that his products add to the value chain to achieve national growth and global competitiveness.
Also, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, said government would continue to evolve initiatives that would promote economic recovery and inclusive and sustainable growth.
Enelamah said that government would continue to collaborate with the private sector to ensure the actualisation of its various programmes and policies.
Amaka E. Nliam