Nigeria gets $50bn investment commitments in power sector

ERERA Power lines05 February 2014, Abuja – The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga Tuesday said the privatisation of the power sector has unlocked investment opportunities in the sector.

According to Aganga, the sector has attracted investment commitments estimated at about $50 billion.

Speaking at the 2014 Standard Bank West Africa Investors’ Conference titled: “Nigeria: Time to Deliver,” in Lagos, the minister informed the gathering of international investors that privatisation of the power sector was successful and had been globally acknowledged.

“As a result, 11 distribution companies and four generation companies have been privatised, for over $3 billion,” he said, adding that other generating plants in the NIPP programme will also be privatised soon.

Aganga also said the country plans to significantly raise the contribution of the manufacturing sector to gross domestic product (GDP) in the next three years through policy stimulus and investments.

He argued that since coming into office in 2011, the present administration decided to do things differently, adding that the federal government is desirous of taking Nigeria beyond oil. This, according to him, is part of the government’s ongoing transformation agenda.

The minister added: “We believe that it all starts and ends with competitiveness. It is competiveness that will revolutionise the Nigerian economy.

“In Agriculture, we commenced an agricultural transformation agenda, the scale of which has been never seen before in Nigeria.  This was launched in 2011, with the target to produce an additional 20 million metric tons of food annually.”

According to him, the agenda sets out to make Nigeria food sufficient, and to professionalise the Nigerian agricultural sector.

“In Nigeria today, we don’t see agriculture as a social effort, or a charity action, we see agriculture as a business that needs private sector capital, discipline, and professionalism. These have opened boundless opportunities for investors,” he said.

He pointed out that the country has also commenced an ambitious drive towards industrialisation through the Nigeria Industrial Revolution plan (NIRP).

“Since announcing our new auto policy, we have made more progress in Auto, in just 4 months, than over the last 30 years combined. The likes of Hyundai of South Korea are also interested in coming into the country and also Daewoo.

“I met Tata three weeks ago and for those of you who are from the United Kingdom can testify that Tata is one of the celebrated industrialists over there today. They have taken over the auto industry in the United Kingdom. They are coming to Nigeria,” he added.

Earlier in his opening remark, the Chairman, Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, Mr. Atedo Peterside highlighted the investment opportunities in the country.

“Nigeria which we know has a colossal infrastructure deficit also became self sufficient in cement production in 2013, thanks to measures which have continued to encourage domestic production.

“Our ports continue to undergo revolution and currently operate 24 hours daily. We have significantly reduced the number of government agencies at the port, thereby leading to reduced clearing cost,” Peterside added.

– Obinna Chima, This Day

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