To improve Nigeria’s manufacturing capacity in Africa, the Federal Government has stated that it will focus on improving access to power and infrastructure for manufacturers.
“Though many manufacturing companies were facing the issue of foreign exchange shortages, the Federal Government was doing everything it could to assist manufacturers to access forex, particularly for the importation of machineries for those using local raw materials for their production,” said Niyi Adebayo, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, while playing host to a delegation of Expand Global Industries Limited.
He stated that the ministry would continue to assist manufacturers in removing any identified bottlenecks that could obstruct their manufacturing process, particularly in terms of ease of doing business.
In a statement, Ifedayo Sayo, the Special Assistant to the Minister on Media, quoted the Minister as saying that his ministry would continue to work with manufacturers to keep them in business for the benefit of investors.
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He also stated that because Nigeria accounts for 200 million of Africa’s 1.3 billion target market, the government wants to make Nigeria the most appealing market to do business in.
Furthermore, he stated that making forex available to manufacturers would increase investor confidence in the country.
He pointed out that the company, which began operations in the country in 2016, has grown to become the country’s second largest detergent producer as of 2019.
According to the Minister, the current major challenge is security, followed by the issue of power, and finally, the issue of general infrastructure.
“There are also delays at ports and other places, and we’ve been given information about what the government is doing to address these issues.”
“We are aware that there is a power problem,” Adebayo said. “However, based on that, what we are doing is creating special economic zones and special industrial parks.”
He went on to say that the industrial parks would have built-in power and all of the necessary infrastructure, and that all anyone needing to start a factory needs to do is go to that industrial park, which would have power and infrastructure.
“Another thing we’re doing is that many industries are investing in the construction of gas pipelines across the country so that you can easily tap into the pipelines and access the gas to power your plants,” he explained. the FG’s power plants, and the FG’s power plants, and the FG’s power plants
These are just a few of the things the FG is doing to assist the manufacturing sector, he said. He also stated that, because manufacturers believe the price they are being charged for gas is excessive, the FG is working with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to see how it can help make gas more affordable for manufacturers.
“If you want to do business in Africa, you should start in Nigeria,” he said. “Africa has a 1.3 billion (people) market, with over 2 million in Nigeria, so your best bet is to start in Nigeria and work your way out to Africa.”
However, Rajat Kapur, the company’s Managing Director, requested the Minister’s assistance in obtaining foreign exchange for their production, claiming that having access to forex would increase their capacity to produce more.