12 December 2015, Abuja – The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, has said that the Federal Government plans to ensure that the country stops the importation of petroleum products by 2018.
He said this during an interview on Friday during a visit to Mikano International Limited in Ogba, Lagos.
Aganga, who also inspected the manufacturing plants of the company, said going by the government’s Industrial Revolution Plan, which became effective in 2012, there were plans to make the country to stop the importation of refined petroleum products by 2018.
The minister said, “There are many sectors we should have developed over the years, but for decades, we relied entirely on exporting raw materials. That era has gone. That was why this administration launched the Industrial Revolution plan in 2012. We have started it already, and you can see it in the auto, the sugar, and the cotton and textile industries.
“If this investment goes according to plan; then by 2018, we will no longer import petroleum products into this country. We can no longer be a country that is import-dependent, especially in products we can produce ourselves. Nigeria has a comparative advantage in the agro-industrial, mining-related and petroleum sectors.
“Stopping the importation of oil will save us a minimum of $10bn. We have spent about $3bn importing steel. We spent about $6bn importing cars and spare parts. We spent about $1.7bn importing sugar, but we can in fact grow sugar cane in this country.
“As part of the industrial revolution plan, we have also identified 13 products that will replace oil. These are areas where Nigeria has comparative advantage and export capacity. Mexico did it in seven years. We can also start and diversify our economy and revenue sources.”
Aganga, who commended the management of Mikano for its role in the industrial revolution plan, noted that the government would also create an enabling environment for it and others to operate.
Receiving the minister on behalf of the company were the Chairman, Mikano International Limited, Mr. Mofeed Karameh; Managing Director, Mr. Christian Faren; Financial Director, Mr. Muneer Nassr; and other officials.
The minister was conducted round the plant steel fabrication, power solutions and other divisions by the officials.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has identified out 13 national strategic export products that can replace crude oil whose prices have continued to decline in the international market.
– The Punch