Aganga Unveils New Policy For MSMEs Sub Sector

olusegun agangaThe Minister of Industry Trade and Investment, Mr Olusegun Aganga, has unveiled a new policy for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria saying any tier of government that ignores these stronghold of the economy will fail.

Dr Aganga said MSMEs represent over 90 percent of the businesses in Nigeria and employs over 84 percent of the country’s labour force, insisting that it requires a policy that attracts the appropriate investments on that sector.

He said the revised National Policy is necessary, especially as Nigeria most requires a diversified economy, divergence from oil and increase in non-oil output to sustain growth and keep the country out of risk.

As at 2010, when the first ever national MSMEs survey was conducted in Nigeria, there were about 17.3 million MSMEs employing 32.4 million persons and contributing about 46.54% to the nation’s GDP in nominal terms.

The statistics have increased five years later, and the outstanding results have given key players in the commerce sector reason to revisit the national policy in the sub-sector towards guided economic growth and development.

While Mr Aganga maintains that necessary mechanisms must be put in place to support MSMEs, experts believe that for industrialization to succeed, a robust MSME sub-sector is required, insisting that it is not the government that creates jobs but rather enterprises.

FG Launches First Sugarcane Bio-Factory In Zaria

SugarcaneThe Federal Government has commissioned the first Sugarcane Bio-factory at the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Kaduna State as part of efforts to achieve national self-sufficiency in the nation’s sugar requirements.

Commissioning the factory on Monday, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, said that the inauguration of the one-million seedling per annum capacity bio-factory was the first in the series of bio-factories to be established in the next five years, with combined capacity estimated at 12.5million cane seedlings per annum.

He explained that the provision of high grade and quality seedlings of sugarcane is essential for the attainment of the set goals of the National Sugar Master Plan.

The production of sugar has been described as an integrated process with field and factory processes that are inter-dependent and mutually inclusive.

Thus, efficiency in the cultivation and supply of sugarcane is essential for efficient milling and production of sugar and associated by-products such as ethanol and electricity.

This facility, according to Mr Aganga, is designed to address all the critical challenges facing Nigeria’s sugar industry.

Its commissioning therefore marks another milestone in the implementation of the National Sugar Master Plan, which was approved by the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan in September 2012.

The ultimate goal is to make Nigeria’s manufacturing sector highly competitive and dynamic.

Speaking during the event, the Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Professor Ibrahim Garba, said that the project is a proactive approach for alleviating problems of sugacane production in Nigeria and will also support the efforts being made by the National Sugar Master Plan in ensuring sustainable sugarcane production by the year 2020.

As the factory settles down for production, Nigerians would hope that this addresses the short supply of sugar needed by many industries for the production of daily consumables and also create more job for the teeming population.

Jonathan Performs Groundbreaking Of Gas Industrial Park

JonathanNigeria may be set for a major gas revolution with the flag off of the Gas Industrial Park in Delta State, South South Nigeria.

This indication was given by the President Jonathan on Thursday while performing the groundbreaking of the project which he believes would generate much needed revenue for the country when it starts functioning.

Speaking at the ceremony, President Goodluck Jonathan said that the park would be designated a free trade zone, and is expected to generate large number of jobs for all Nigerians.

President Jonathan expressed optimism that the project, which is believed will be Africa’s biggest gas industrial hub, would be executed to international standard and attract many gas related industries from across the world.

The park is expected to consist of industries, which would produce fertilizers, petrochemicals, methanol and other related products.

Thursday’s groundbreaking comes after several attempts to kick-off the project were frustrated as a result of the tussle between the Ijaw and Itshekiri over the ownership of the land on which the facility is located.

Present at the ceremony were traditional rulers, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Maduekwe; Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga; Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, top government functionaries and member of the community.

FG Announces Low Interest Loans Policy To Boost Textile Production

olusegun agangaThe Federal Government has announced a new funding policy that will ensure that cotton, textile and garment companies access low interest loans to finance their operations.

At a meeting with stakeholders  in the textile sector held in Abuja, the Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, said the plan will help boost growth and development of the sector.

He said that the cotton, textile and garment policy would improve production capacity and competitiveness of players in the sector.

In 2010,the Federal Government introduced a 100 billion Naira funding to revive cotton production and textile companies. The fund is managed by the Bank of Industry and it was aimed at addressing the challenges affecting economic growth in the sub sector.

The cotton, textile and garment policy is expected to create over 1.3 million jobs by 2017.

Major players in the manufacturing sector see the policy as one capable of transforming other sectors of the economy as well.

‎They pledged their support towards the realisation of the lofty policy.

Part of the cotton, textile and garment policy is that all military and paramilitary institutions would purchase only made in Nigerian fabrics to boost local patronage.

These and other initiatives are meant to help ensure a ready local patronage for the sub sector.

Aganga Says Nigeria Accounts For 75% New Investments In Africa

The_minister_of_trade_and_investment_Olusegun_AgangaThe Minister of Trade and Investment in Nigeria, Mr Olusegun Aganga, has given the nation’s economy a clean bill of health, saying that despite the challenges of poor infrastructural development, epileptic power supply, insecurity in some states in the north-east, Nigeria’s economy still accounts for 75 per cent of new investments in Africa.

Mr Aganga made the claim in Ota, Ogun state, in south-west Nigeria while delivering a lecture on “the emergence of Nigeria as Africa’s largest economy and challenges for the future”.

The Minister gave a bit by bit economic development indices of Nigeria in the last couple of years, emphasising that Nigeria has been attracting investment capital rather than aid money. He attributed it to the many economic development initiatives being put in place by the Federal Government

In his speech, the Vice Chancellor of the Bells University of Technology, Professor Isaac Adeyemi, stressed that knowledge economy, research, innovation and Education must be adequately funded by the government at all levels to ensure Nigeria achieves its vision of becoming one of the top 20 economies in the world by 2020.

In his goodwill message, the Chairman of the occasion, Professor Akin Maboogunje, told participants that aside from America, “Nigeria is the only country that can lay claim to Manifest Destiny”, adding that the country has larger concentration of proactive and talented people.

Youths who were present at the occasion were urged to make themselves readily available for the challenges of the 21st century so that Nigeria, as the current largest economy in Africa, could take its rightful place in the comity of great economies of the world.

President Jonathan To Attend US-African Leaders’ Summit In Washington

jonathan-goodluck-Nigeria-PresidentPresident Goodluck Jonathan would on Sunday leave for Washington DC to participate in a three-day US-African Leaders Summit hosted by President Barrack Obama.

President Jonathan would join President Obama and about 50 other participating African leaders for discussions that are expected to lead to greater progress in key areas such as expanding trade and investment ties,  promoting inclusive sustainable development and expanding cooperation on peace and security.

In a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, the Summit, which is the first of its kind between an American President and African Heads of State and government, is expected to greatly strengthen ties between the United States, Nigeria and other African countries.

In addition to three special sessions on “Investing in Africa’s Future”, “Peace and Regional Stability” and “Governing the Next Generation”, the summit would also feature side-events such as the US-Africa Business Forum which has the objectives of boosting efforts to strengthen trade and financial ties between the United States and Africa, creating partnerships that will accelerate job creation, and encouraging even more  American investments in Nigeria and other African countries.

President Jonathan is also scheduled to hold meetings in Washington with key US political, security and business leaders on the sidelines of the summit to discuss the further expansion of bilateral cooperation between Nigeria and the United States in other areas including the war against terrorism.

The President will be accompanied to the summit by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Wali; the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; the Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga; the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo and the National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.)

Bayelsa Is One Of Most Secure Places To Do Business – Seriake Dickson

Seriake DicksonThe Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson has urged both local and foreign investors to pitch their tents in the oil-producing State, noting that it is one of the most secure places to do business in Nigeria.

Dickson, who made the call at the on-going maiden edition of the Bayelsa Investment and Economic Forum, in Yenagoa, commended security agencies for doing a good job of keeping the peace in the State, thereby making it a choice destination for investors.

Investors and Government officials from both Federal and State levels, who had gathered for the ceremony, included the Vice President, Nnamadi Sambo, who represented President Goodluck Jonathan, Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison Madueke, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga.

While delivering his speech, Governor Dickson made a strong case for his state, urging investors to do business in the land as his administration had made plans to position Bayelsa as a major vibrant economy.

Dickson, who described Bayelsa as Nigeria’s best kept economic and leisure secret, noted that his administration was “working hard to lay the foundation for a vibrant economy,” he said, noting that the government had embarked on several projects in some sectors, including education, power, agriculture, fashion, tourism e.t.c.

“In the past 2 years, we have built schools and schools and schools,” he emphasized, noting that over 600 primary schools had been built, including teachers’ quarters.

He disclosed plans to have a school in every state House Constituency of the House of Assembly.

He further highlighted that education is free in the State and that the government also paid for external examinations, maintaining that “our goal is education for the economy”.

According to him, human capacity development is the nation’s greatest challenge, hence different schools for music, agriculture, language studies, driving, fashion, photography are being set up to develop the youths.

He also called on investors in the fashion and tourism sector to pitch their tents in the State as the government was already making preparations to train youths.

The governor also spoke about power generation, maintaining that “we are aspiring to be the number one in power generation” and since the State produced about 40% of the nation’s crude oil and mineral resources, “we are aspiring to be the nation’s power hub”.

He stressed that the government was also interested in palm oil production, as well as aqua-culture. He disclosed that the State was targeting production of 3000 tonnes of fish for local consumption and export.

Also, the governor stated that about 6000 hectares of land set aside for cassava planting as the largest cassava processing company was stationed in the State.

Governor Dickson also addressed people of the State to reduce their dependency on the government. “We have got to move away from over-dependence on government and into production,” he stressed.

“You the people of Bayelsa must also do your part… don’t live a life of dependence. Take responsibility for your livelihood,” he said.

FEC Approves 1.3bn Naira For Standard Gauge Rail Lines

Ibadan RailwayThe Federal Executive Council has approved contracts worth 1.3 billion Naira for consultancy services for the designs of six standard gauge rail lines across Nigeria. 

The meeting, held on Wednesday, was presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan.

At a press briefing after the meeting the Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, said that the six lots, totalling 4,430 kilometre, were in addition to seven earlier lots approved by the council last year.

The railway lines covered by the new contracts  include Kano-Dayi-Katsina-Jibiya rail line; Ilela-Sokoto-Jega-Yauti-Makera rail line; aba-Ikot Ekpene-Ibiono-Itu(spur line to Uyo)-Odupkani-Calabar rail line; Kano-Nguru-Gashua-Damaturu/Gamborun-Ngala rail line; calabar-Ikom-Obudu-Ogoja-Katsina Ala-Wukari-Jalingo-Yola-Maiduguri rail line and the Port Harcourt-Aba-Umuahia-Enugu-Makurdi-Lafia-jos-Bauchi-Gombe-Biu-maiduguri rail line.

The projects are expected to be completed within six months.

The Minister said the contracts were part of the 35 years strategic vision of the Federal Government for the rail sector.

Earlier at the council meeting, the Minister of Trade and Investments, Olusegun Aganga, told the council that the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) had recognised the development efforts of Nigeria and Ethiopia, quoting UNIDO as saying that the two countries showed the strongest and highest potential for industrial development in Africa.

The organisation intends to set up its office in Nigeria and Mr Aganga said the organisation had only eight of such offices in the world while Nigeria would be hosting the first and the only one in Africa.

Aganga Tasks BOI To Raise Funds For Small Businesses

olusegun-agangaThe Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr Olusegun Aganga, has asked the Bank of Industry (BOI) to scale up its funding to owners of small and medium businesses from the present 15 per cent.

Dr Aganga, who spoke at the inauguration of the newly constituted board of directors of the bank in Abuja, said the  increase is key to the Federal governments transformation agenda and the attainment of all inclusive growth in the country.

Responding, the Chairman, Board of Directors of the Bank of Industry, Mr Abdulsamad Rabiu promised to ensure that financial assistance is provided to owners of small businesses.

The Bank of Industry (BoI), at the weekend unfolded plans to partner Business Support firms (BSFs) to drive its intervention agenda in the small and medium enterprises sector.

Besides, the bank also expressed its resolve to explore new funding alternatives in a bid to realise its mandates, following the pressure, which has continued to mount on government’s resources in terms of financing.

The bank noted that it was seeking new funds to make contributions to Federal Government’s National Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) as well as serve the small and medium enterprises.

Addressing journalists in Lagos, Managing Director, BoI, Rasheed Olaoluwa, noted that the bank was developing strategies to improve stakeholders’ access to funds.

“BoI is trying to achieve a balance in its functions as a development finance institution in terms of delivering social impact and maintaining a sustainable loan infrastructure.

“We have met with Business Support Firms to address the large percentage of substandard loan applications as we have discovered that a good way out is to engage with BSFs who will receive the applications and help review them as they better understand how a bankable proposal should look like,” he said.

He added that the SME sector would receive adequate attention from the development bank and their funding challenges addressed through concrete and visible steps.

the Bank of Industry (BoI), at the weekend unfolded plans to partner Business Support firms (BSFs) to drive its intervention agenda in the small and medium enterprises sector.

Besides, the bank also expressed its resolve to explore new funding alternatives in a bid to realise its mandates, following the pressure, which has continued to mount on government’s resources in terms of financing.

The bank noted that it was seeking new funds to make impactful contributions to Federal Government’s National Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) as well as serve the underserved, particularly the small and medium enterprises.

Addressing journalists in Lagos, Rasheed Olaoluwa, managing director, BoI, noted that the bank was developing strategies to improve stakeholders’ access to funds.

“BoI is trying to achieve a balance in its functions as a development finance institution in terms of delivering social impact and maintaining a sustainable loan infrastructure.

“We have met with Business Support Firms to address the large percentage of substandard loan applications as we have discovered that a good way out is to engage with BSFs who will receive the applications and help review them as they better understand how a bankable proposal should look like,” he said.

He added that the SME sector would receive adequate attention from the development bank and their funding challenges addressed through concrete and visible steps.

– See more at: http://nigeriacommunicationsweek.com.ng/e-financial/boi-strategises-to-increase-smes-access-to-loans#sthash.2mbunoqD.dpuf

 

FG Denies Imposition of 70 Per Cent Import Duties on Used Cars

CarsOnShipThe Federal Government has denied rumours that car importers will have to pay 70 per cent import duties on used cars describing the allegation as untrue.

The Minister of Trade and Industries, Mr Olusegun Aganga, who disclosed this to State House Correspondents after the Federal Executive Council meeting said that it was unnecessary for some car importers to embark on a campaign of calumny against government.

The minister also noted that the federal government will not renege on its decision to implement the Automotive Policy which seeks to discourage the importation of used vehicles in the country.

Mr Aganga insisted that Nigeria has no business importing cars thereby creating jobs for other countries.

The Federal Executive Council also approved contract for the completion of the Mangu Regional Urban Water Supply Scheme in Plateau State at the contract sum of N5.6 billion.

The project, which was terminated because of the non-performance of the former contractor, has been reactivated because the project is crucial to the well being of the Mangu people.

Further the Federal Executive Council directed the minister of justice and the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN) to commence the process of domestication and  ratification of the revised instruments.

Chalker Urges FG To Inform Nigerians On Efforts In Fighting Terror

Lynda_chalkerThe coordinator of the Honorary International Investor’s Council, Baroness Lynda Chalker has called on the federal government to ensure that the right information on efforts aimed at tackling security challenges in parts of the country is communicated to the public.

In a 14 point communique after the meeting, after the 16th edition of the Honorary International Investor’s Council in Abuja, she called on the media to be more sensitive in reporting developments in the country.

Baroness Chalker and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, who briefed State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, said rumours would do the country no good while better communication and responsible reporting would do the country a lot of benefits.

Vice President Namadi Sambo had earlier pledged the commitment of the Jonathan administration to ensure the security of lives and property of Nigerians and all those who live in the country during the opening ceremony of the 16th edition of the council meeting, which took place in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He pledged the commitment of the Jonathan administration to ensure the security of lives and property of Nigerians and all those who live in the country, giving assurances that security forces were confronting the situation and would remain unyielding in the effort to rid Nigeria of the evil that has threatened its development.

It was their first meeting since the rebasing of the Nigerian economy, Vice President Namadi Sambo, representing President Jonathan, reviewed what has happened so far despite the challenges of insecurity in the country.

He said that the transformation agenda of the administration was on course despite the distractions, promising that Government would take all necessary steps to enhance security as well as competitiveness of Nigerian enterprises.

He also gave assurances that security forces were confronting the situation and would remain unyielding in the effort to rid Nigeria of the evil that has threatened its development.

 

Nigerian Lawmakers Consider EU’s Economic Partnership Proposal

House of RepsThe House of Representatives has invited the Minister of Industry Trade and Investment, Mr Olusegun Aganga, to brief it on details of the European Union’s Economic Partnership Agreement with Nigeria.

The invitation of the Minister is part of the lawmakers’ scrutiny and re-evaluation of the proposed agreement before the deadline for the signing.

Concerns about the proposal were raised by a lawmaker, Akpan Umoh, during a plenary session.

He had said that with the partnership, Nigeria could lose jobs meant for Nigerians to European countries and importing finished goods instead.

Mr Umoh is also worried that the October 1 deadline for signing the agreement will, if foreclosed, undermine Nigeria’s rising status as an economic power as well as the strategic advantage of the youth population that is one of Nigeria’s strongest resources waiting to be tapped.

The house would expect the Minister to present the worst case scenario should Nigeria refuse to sign the agreement as currently constituted.