President Goodluck Jonathan launches two aggressive programmes that are designed to lead Nigeria into the club of the 10 globally industrialised countries
| By Vincent Nzemeke | Feb. 24, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT
NIGERIA’S quest to improve its industrialization through micro, small and medium scale enterprise development received a boost when President Goodluck Jonathan formally launched the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan, NIRP, and the National Enterprise Development Programme, NEDEP, in Abuja on Tuesday, February 11.
The event, which held at the banquet hall of the Presidential villa, attracted a host of dignitaries from the business, banking, trade and investment sectors and other key areas of the economy. Speaking at the event, the President described the NIRP as the most ambitious and comprehensive road map that would transform the nation’s industrial landscape, boost skills development, enhance job creation and conserve foreign exchange.
The Plan, he said, would boost the annual revenue to be earned per annum by Nigerian manufacturers up to N5 trillion as well as set the stage for a new era of industrial, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises development in Nigeria.
“As we celebrate our centenary, it is clear to us that the measures of the nation cannot be detached from the dependability of its economy and a great economy must based on a solid industrial sector with well diversified minds and sources of revenue and a vibrate micro and small medium enterprises sector to create jobs and provide leverages.
“The Nigeria Industrial revolution Plan and the National Enterprise Development Programme will help to fast track the attainment of these goals. They are targeted at transforming Nigerian businesses and changing the lives of the ordinary people. It will accelerate inclusive growth and job creation and save the drain on our reserve caused by importing what we can produce locally.
“The Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan is the most ambitious and comprehensive industrialisation programme because it is based on the areas where Nigeria has competitive and comparative advantage such as agriculture and agro-products, metals and solid minerals, oil and gas, construction and light manufacturing services. It has identified those sectors where Nigeria can be number one in Africa and in the top 10 globally.”
Stressing that his administration has consolidated on Nigeria’s fiscal position, the President said that transformation of the agricultural sector would boost Nigeria’s food production by 20 million tonnes per annum, fundamentally reorganise the power sector by privatising 11 distribution and four generating companies and bringing in private sector capital and expertise.
Jonathan promised that he would continue to take steps that would ensure that he lives behind a stronger and better Nigeria than he met on assumption of office adding that “the NIRP will also address the physical constraints that have consistently inhibited the growth of manufacturing by building industrial infrastructure, prioritise power for industrial use, reduce borrowing cost and mobilise funds for the real sector. It will help to build our industrial skills, improve our investment climate, raise our product standards, link innovation to industry and ensure local patronage of made- in- Nigeria goods.”
Explaining the second programme, the President said “The NEDEP has placed micro, small and medium enterprises at the centre of our national economic policy, our vision is to take this new model for national enterprise development to all the 774 local governments in our country.”
The programme, he said, would fully unlock the potentials of Nigeria’s micro, small and medium enterprises sector by resolving many of the problems that most small businesses face such as access to finance, access to market, weak business development, dearth of technical skills, lack of infrastructure and insufficient market information.
According to him, the programme will create in every state of the federation, enterprise zones, equipped with special infrastructure for small businesses to strive and transform Nigeria through employment generation, economic linkages and rural industrialization.
“We made very notable progress towards our objective since we started implementing the two programmes 12 months ago. Through the NIRP, we have significantly cut the cost of business incorporation in Nigeria, we have mobilised new investments in the sugar sector exceeding $3 billion. In just four months, our auto mobilisation programme has attracted over six international car manufacturers including Nissan and Hyundai. We have also consolidated gains in the cement sector which has attracted over $8 billion in investment and in supporting 1.6 million jobs.
“We have refocused attention on micro enterprises, in the last 12 months, the Bank of Industry has disbursed N10 billion to the smallest and the most fragile businesses at the bottom of the pyramid. As we look ahead to the future, sustainability and effectiveness are core principles that will guide our action. We will not only sustain the momentum of both the NIRP, and the NEDEP, but also expand their impacts and reach” he added.
He further stated that “A survey conducted by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria and the National Bureau of Statistics in 2010 showed that we have about 17 million MSMEs, employing over 32 million people. If each of these 17 million MSMEs employs additional one person, we will create additional 17 million jobs thereby reducing employment in our country.”
On the made-in-Nigeria vehicles, the President said “the Federal Government will continue to support local manufacturers by buying vehicles that are made in Nigeria. And as long as those vehicles are produced in this country, the Federal Government will buy them. So, we also encourage the state governments to support the patronage of made- in- Nigeria products in their states.
“So far, no traditional ruler, no school child has died from using Innoson Motors and we have recently acquired all of them for our SURE-P programmes in all the states. At the federal level, I will also use this opportunity to plead with the States, we only accept vehicles produced in Nigeria. And not just vehicles only, and you know that the Due Process Law allows us to buy made- in- Nigerian products at 15 per cent higher than the imported ones to encourage local production.”
In his welcome address, the minister of industry, trade and investment, Olusegun Aganga, said that the integrated nature of the NIPR and NEDEP had already provided a synergy and necessary linkages with other development plans of various ministries, departments and agencies of government and the private sector, adding that the ministry would partner with all the stakeholders to ensure the successful implementation of the programmes.
“The NIRP and NEDEP are both holistic and integrated. This means that they are joined at the waist with other MDAs. The NIRP and NEDEP adopt inclusive structures which bring in other government agencies and the private sector to ensure adequate policy synergy,” he said.