The federal government has said it is working to reduce the cost of gas for power generation in the country as part of efforts to boost the manufacturing sector.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investments, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, said this during a roundtable on the industrialization of Africa organized by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria.
He said cost competitiveness of the manufacturing sector was a major challenge identified by industry players. According to Adebayo, Africa contributes less than 2% of international trade, pushing it to the bottom of the global value chain.
He said this has resulted in lower export volumes, lost job opportunities and reduced foreign exchange for real sector players on the continent.
He said that for Nigerian industries to lead the transformation of the economy of the country and the continent, all stakeholders must work together to develop measures to improve the cost competitiveness of the sector in the country.
He said: “For example, we are working with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to reduce the cost of gas which is essential for the production of the energy sector. This is a factor that can improve the cost competitiveness of the sector.
“Another way for Nigerian industries to position themselves for Africa’s economic transformation is to align with the country’s industrialization agenda. “For our part, we are accelerating the creation of world-class special economic zones in Lagos, Abia and Kano, among others, which will drive our industrialization program by increasing the concentration of high-quality infrastructure and offering tax incentives to producers in the sector. . ”
The minister urged manufacturers to take advantage of SEZs and the wider 1.3 billion market provided by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. He said the potential of AfCFTA can only be achieved through investments led by the private sector.
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