THE Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, has said that $113 billion needed to be injected into the country to fix three critical sectors of the economy in order to put it in the right direction. Benjamin Dikki, director general, BPE said Nigeria required the amount in six years for the development of three critical sectors of the economy, namely: oil and gas, power and transport.
Dikki, who stated this in a paper he presented at a forum organised by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, said to modernise the Nigerian transport system, investments of about $33 billion would be required in six years for road and rail development; to undertake the rehabilitation and modernisation of the Nigerian railway and the construction of new road networks across the country.
He also said that in the next six years, Nigeria would require between $18 billion and $20 billion of investment in the power sector. The BPE boss said that the current reforms in the sector had enabled the private sector to invest in the rehabilitation of existing infrastructure and in new projects.
According to Dikki, in the next six years, Nigeria would require about $60 billion in investments in the oil and gas industry to unleash the potential in the sector, adding that government was not in a position to finance all the investment requirements; thus the private sector needed to participate in the investment in the various sectors.
He said it was in order to attract the needed private sector investments that the government through the transformation agenda was fine-tuning policies and legal and regulatory frameworks to give confidence to the private sector to invest. He emphasised that the enactment of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB and transport Bills being midwife by the BPE would be critical. He added that without the passage of the bill, the country would continue to lose estimated additional revenue of about $287 million in three production sharing contracts every month.
On the impact of reform and privatisation on the nation’s economy, Dikki said the BPE had concluded reforms in eight sectors of the economy, which he listed as telecommunications, power, banking and finance, marine, mining, steel, oil and gas, and industry. The government, he added, had so far privatised 123 enterprises including the recently concluded sale of Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, successor companies that yielded over N564.3 billion. Dikki noted that the reform of the telecommunications and banking sectors remained the most successful in terms of their impact on the Nigerian economy.
FG Inagurates Nigeria/Mexico Chamber of Commerce
IN a bid to improve bilateral relations with Mexico, the federal government has inaugurated the Nigeria/Mexico Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The move, according to Olusegun Aganga, minister of industry, trade and investment, would help to increase the level of trade between both countries as well as open investment opportunities for investors.
The minister said the strengthening of the bilateral tie was coming at a time when the federal government was working assiduously to deepen trade, create employment and improve the welfare of the people. He said it would also make both countries diversify their economies away from oil and tap into the opportunities in sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture and the automotive industry. “We are impressed with what Mexico has done in terms of diversifying its economy away from oil and we want to replicate such achievements here in Nigeria. We want to stop exporting raw materials and to start producing what we need in this country and this is what the industrial revolution plan is meant to achieve,” he said.
On his part, Marco Antonio Blanco, Mexican Ambassador to Nigeria, said the inauguration of the chamber marked a milestone in expanding and strengthening the economic ties between both countries. The partnership, according to him, will also allow the effective identification of business opportunities, investments, joint ventures and specific strategic alliances to boost and diversify bilateral trade.
Bayo Adeyemo, founding president of the chamber, while outlining some of the benefits of the alliance to both countries, said it would help increase business network, open up new markets, provide access to current business information and facilitate participation at international trade fairs and trade missions. “The chamber of commerce and industry we are launching is open to investors, entrepreneurs, businesses and corporations,” he said.
— Dec. 29, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT