By Ismaila Chafe
#TrackNigeria: President Muhammadu Buhari says the implementation of the Federal Government’s Made in Nigeria for Exports (MINE) will generate 30billion dollars and create 1.5million jobs by 2025.
MINE is a presidential special priority intervention programme implemented by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, but under Buhari’s direct supervision.
The president stated this at the signing of agreement between Nigeria Special Economic Zones (SEZ) Investment Company and Strategic Investment Partners at the State House, Abuja on Friday.
According to him, MINE is using Special Economic Zones to achieve the objectives of boosting the share of manufacturing in Gross Domestic Product to 20 per cent.
“Under my direct supervision, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment is implementing Project MINE (Made in Nigeria for Exports) as a Presidential special priority intervention using Special Economic Zones to achieve the objectives of; boosting manufacturing’s share of GDP to 20%, generating $30bn in annual export earnings; and creating 1.5 million new jobs all by 2025.
“In order to achieve these ambitious objectives, we are implementing a comprehensive plan including but not limited to the following:
“We have set up the Nigeria SEZ Investment Company Limited as a vehicle for participating in Public Private Partnerships involving Federal and State governments and local and foreign private investors.
“This company will develop new Special Economic Zones all over the country, offering advanced infrastructure and facilities at competitive costs,’’ he said.
The president revealed that the projects in the pilot phase included Enyimba Economic City, Funtua Cotton Cluster and Lekki Model Industrial Park.
He announced that experienced SEZ developers and operators were needed to partner with the government to upgrade its Free Trade Zones in Calabar and Kano, and to offer first-class standards of infrastructure and facilities.
He said: “Whilst we await the completion of the process of bringing in these investors, the Federal Executive Council has approved the award of contracts in excess of N19.45 billion for the needed investment in Calabar and Kano Free Trade Zones and work is currently ongoing.
“This is the highest amount of capital investment ever in the history of these zones.’’
The President said the federal government had allocated funds to upgrade the capabilities of management and the systems in the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority, to strengthen it as a regulator of the SEZ.
He added that government was also allocating substantial resources to the provision of “outside the fence” infrastructure to ensure that SEZ are connected to global, regional and domestic markets.
“We are reviewing our incentive framework to ensure competitiveness relative to the other countries with whom we are in the race to attract export oriented global manufacturing investment.
“We will extend the early successes we have achieved in Ease of Doing Business to the areas critical to globally competitive export-oriented manufacturing operations,’’ he said.
The president thanked the investment partners including the Africa Export and Import Bank (AFREXIM); Africa Finance Corporation (AFC); Bank of Industry (BOI); Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) and the African Development Bank (AFDB) for their support for the initiative.
Earlier in his remarks, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Okechukwu Enelamah, explained that the agreement would actualise the nation’s industrialisation agenda and provision of infrastructural facilities.
He thanked the president for approving resources to attract world class advisers for the implementation of the initiative.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that those who signed the agreement included President Afreximbank, Dr Benedict Oramah; the Managing Director, Bank of Industry, Mr Olukayode Pitan and the Managing Director of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, Mr Uche Orji. (NAN)