13 September 2011, Sweetcrude, Abuja- Nigeria’s Ministry of Trade and Investment says it has received a commitment of investment worth US$100 million for the nation’s mining sector.
Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, disclosed this at a press briefing in commemoration of the first 100 days of President Goodluck Jonathan in office in Abuja, saying the ministry was in possession of a proposal for the US$100 million investment in addition to other heavier proposals that could be tapped in the short to medium term.
“We have a proposal that can lead to an investment of US$100 million immediately, and US$3 billion to US$4 billion of investment in the short to medium term,” he said.
The minister said he had so far held over 30 major investor meetings in Nigeria, the United Kingdom, and Australia, which have produced firm investment commitments in the health, manufacturing, agriculture and oil and gas sectors as well as for the mining industry.
These have attracted a commitment of investments worth N1.52 trillion in the next one year, from 20 companies.
Aganga said his Ministry plans to work with these companies to realise their expansion programmes while plans are to extend the survey to other companies.
He also disclosed that about N34 billion of investment commitment has also been secured from about 18 companies in the Agribusiness and Agro-industries sector at a meeting held with key players in Lagos.
He stated that the Ministry was working with the sector on a government policy that would lead to significant investments and create jobs in the next few months.
He noted that plans have been finalised to reactivate the Nigeria Australia Business Council, to act as a catalyst for trade and investment, which will be launched during the commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting scheduled to hold in Australia in October, this year.
Aganga also announced the creation of investment desks with Nigeria’s main embassies to act as facilitators, first points of contact and sources of information for investors. He added that the Ministry is working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to develop a commercial objective for the country’s main embassies.
“To ensure that the Ministry and its Parastatals buy into this new strategic direction, in the next one month, the Ministry will launch its interactive web portal to serve as an investment information corridor for prospective investors and to showcase the enormous investment potential of the country,” he said.
According to him, the Ministry has commenced a business and investment climate reform programme with support from the U.K. Department for International Development (DFID), United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), European Union and the World Bank.
He said the reform initiative covers relevant laws, policies, incentives, the use of free trade and economic zones, including areas identified by the world Economic Forum on Competitiveness, the World Bank and DfID in the survey on doing business in Nigeria.
“This will lead to improvement in the country’s investment climate and competitiveness index. Also the Ministry is currently reviewing all trade bilateral and multilateral agreements to identify the opportunities, which have not been explored in the past,” he stressed.