The Minister for Trade, Industry and Investment, Olusegun Aganga has disclosed that the Federal Government plans to stop oil importation by 2018. He said the plan would save about $10 billion into the federation account.
Aganga, who spoke during a facility tour of Mikano International Limited in Ikeja, Lagos, said Nigeria cannot continue to depend on importation of primary products that could be produced locally.
He therefore expressed the readiness of his ministry to harness all resources and delve into sectors where the country has competitive advantage including the agro allied industry and petroleum sector.
“There are many sectors we should have developed as a country but for decades we relied entirely on importing raw materials which is oil, that era has gone and that’s why the president launched the Industrial Revolution plan in 2012,” he said.
The plan, according to the minister, had already started working in the automotive sector, the sugar subdivision, as well as the cotton and textile industry. He also disclosed that the steel and metal policy was underway to create a robust industrial sector for the country.
He revealed that the Federal Government spends about $3 billion on the importation of steel, about $6 billion importing cars and spare parts and about $1 billion to import sugar, funds which could be put to better use if these products were sufficiently produced locally.
He therefore advised Nigerians to allow the President Goodluck Jonathan-led administration to complete his good work in the country.
Aganga lauded Mikano for keying into the Industrial Revolution Plan to ensure that power is stabilised in the country.
“Part of what Mikano produces today has a minimum of 40 percent local content and it is in the critical sector of power industry. I am encouraging them and they have been making plan to start the production of transformer which will seriously support the power sector,” he added.
Aganga revealed that his ministry has identified 13 products that can replace oil in areas where Nigerians would have competitive advantage and that once the implementation of the revolution plan is completed it would diversify the economy in less than four years.
The minister also noted that the current administration was committed to better rail transport, as he noted that it was the only means that fit into the industrial arrangement of any emerging nation.
“Rail is the most critical transport that we need to continue to rely upon and for the first time in 25 years Nigeria now has train moving from Lagos to Kano and that was done under this administration, he stressed.”
He said his ministry was attracting investment into the areas of transport, warehouses and logistics so as to create modern ways of moving goods around the country at a lower cost and reduce problem of multiple taxation in return.
Also speaking during the tour, Chairman of Mikano, Mufeed Karameh said the unexpected visit of the minister could be a planned step by the government to encourage investors in the country.
He said his company, which started operation with 10 percent local content has improved to 40 percent local content at the moment.