Nigerian govt signs $30bn Industrial Revolution Agreement with AFREXIM, AFDB

Nigerian govt signs $30bn Industrial Revolution Agreement with AFREXIM, AFDB
February 08 17:50 2019

By Nasir Kura

The federal government on Friday signed a $30 billion agreement with investment partners – Africa Export and Import Bank (AFREXIM), Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), African Development Bank (AFDB), Bank of Industry (BOI) and Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) – to foster industrial revolution and boost export earnings from made-in-Nigeria products.

The agreement tagged, “Made in Nigeria for Exports (MINE) project,” was signed at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, and marked the formal preparation for the take-off of the country’s industrial revolution plan as conceived in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.

Speaking at the event, President Muhammadu Buhari said the project has designated Enyimba Economic City in Abia state, Funtua Cotton Cluster in Katsina State and Lekki Model Industrial Park in Lagos state as special economic zones (SEZ) for smooth take-off.

He said the project was conceived to position the country as the pre-eminent manufacturing hub in Sub-Saharan Africa and a major exporter of made-in-Nigeria products to the West African sub-region, the entire Africa and the entire World.

“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. The projects in the pilot phase include Enyimba Economic City, Funtua Cotton Cluster and Lekki Model Industrial Park.

“We are inviting experienced Special Economic Zone developers and operators to partner with us to upgrade the Federal Government owned Free Trade Zones in Calabar and Kano, to offer first-class standards of infrastructure and facilities. 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. We have allocated substantial funds to upgrade the capabilities of management and the systems in the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority, to strengthen it as a regulator of our Special Economic Zones. We are allocating substantial resources to the provision of ‘outside the fence’ infrastructure to ensure that our Special Economic Zones are connected to global, regional and domestic markets,” he said.