Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says the Federal Government has started work on the creation of incentive regime to encourage local industries to grow.
Osinbajo, who noted that private sector remained the driver of Nigeria’s economy, also disclosed that a presidential committee has been commissioned to fashion out low interest credit facility to encourage local manufacturers in the country.
He, however, reiterated President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration’s commitment to continue to create conducive atmosphere for indigenous businesses to thrive.
The Vice President spoke, on Tuesday, at the inauguration of the Phase One Petrolex Mega oil city and 300 million litre capacity tank farm in Ibefun, Ogun State.
Osinbajo, who described the project “as of special significance and testimony to power of vision”, said the tank farm will reduce the pressure on Apapa tank farm and ease the gridlock on the Apapa expressway.
He expressed optimism that the project will not only help the FG’s target of reducing fuel importation to 20% by 2019, but also improve retail distribution across the country.
“This project by Petrolex is indeed a testimony of power of vision, this is of special significance. When fully operational, it will no doubt go a long way in helping the federal government to achieve its target of reducing fuel importation to 20% by late 2018 and first quarter of 2019.
“Project of this nature will also improve retail distribution throughout the country, while the proposed refinery of 250,000bpd, will no doubt hinge us closer to total independence on local refining of petroleum products.
“Local investment such as this will surely send a strong signal to foreign investors that our country is open and safe for business. This also represents massive job creation and the FG’s belief that industrialization is key to Nigeria’s economic growth. We will continue to provide incentive regime to accelerate industrial growth and create safe and conducive ambience for investment to thrive in Nigeria.” Osinbajo stated.
In his remarks, former Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo, lauded the initiative of Petrolex and urged the federal government to provide the necessary support in order to maximize the facilities.
According to him, “If this huge facility is not utilized, it is waste to the nation”.
Also speaking, the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, said the tank farm, which is the largest in Nigeria and sub-saharan Africa, would be a perfect distribution centre in Nigeria. He added his ministry will work with Petrolex to ensure petroleum products are delivered to Nigerians.
In his remarks, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru, said the project will help in reducing challenges being faced by Nigerian in terms of delivery of petroleum products.
Baru, added the inauguration of the facilities has clearly demonstrated the resilience of indigenous companies to offer solutions to economic and energy problems if Nigeria.
The NNPC GMD, who noted the tank farm will ease the pressure on Apapa, disclosed the slight scarcity of petroleum product being experienced in the country, was due to hoarding by independent marketers as a result of perceived price hike.
He, however, warned that the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), will be more aggressive adding “any erring marketer will have his or her product dispensed free of charge to members of the public by DPR”.
In his address, Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, assured that his administration will continue to provide conducive environment and infrastructure for investment to thrive in the state.
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Taiwo Adeoluwa, Amosun, urged intending investors to choose Ogun as their preferred investment destination of choice.
In his welcome address, the Chairman of Petrolex, Segun Adebutu, said the project was conceived to easy the pressure on Apapa tank farm.
He added that the project will create thousands of direct and indirect jobs, saying “it will also change the energy landscape of Nigeria”.