Minister assures investors of foreign exchange in machinery procurement

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The Federal Government on Monday assured local raw materials investors that they will be given priority in foreign exchange allocation for procurement of machines and other equipment not readily available in Nigeria.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo made this known in Abuja while playing host to Greece Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Ioannis Plotas in his office.

According to a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Ifedayo Sayo, the ambassador led the delegation of some Greek businessmen following their request to seek the minister’s guidance on investment opportunities in the country.

Speaking during the visit, the minister said the country was well endowed and the Federal Government would assist foreign investors by creating a conducive environment for them to conduct their businesses

He said the Federal Government would be happy if the Greek investors considered investing in the nation’s power sector.

Besides, he wanted Greek investors to consider setting up agro-allied companies using the abundant agricultural products in the country.

He assured that willing investors would not have issue with getting foreign exchange to import machines and other equipment needed for their businesses as long as they made use of local materials.

Meanwhile, the minister at a meeting with the power sector leaders on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) on Monday listed conditions precedent for the successful realisation of the country’s objectives in ratifying the agreement.

The minister listed the conditions to include building the capacity to produce goods and services to sufficiently high levels to unleash the benefit of the economics of scale.

He included improving price competitiveness of Nigerian products through improvements in production, trade logistics and quality infrastructure as well as mitigating the threats of predatory trade practices including smuggling, dumping, and abuses of rules of origin among others.

According to him, AfCFTA complements Nigeria’s export diversification aspiration as it provides preferential market access for Nigerian products and services in the vast African market.

“Besides, it also provides a platform for African manufacturers of goods and service providers to construct regional value chains of made in Africa goods and services.

“I must mention that electricity is a top 20 traded services in Africa and the sector will remain a high growth area for a while to come. So not only is there the opportunity to grow the domestic market, we must also evaluate and take advantage of the market in Africa.

“I must also acknowledge your immense and ongoing contributions towards the growth and development of a vibrant Power Sector in Nigeria.

“A lot has been achieved and a lot is being done. I enjoin you all to maintain and grow the tempo to encourage our domestic and foreign investors and our manufacturers to continue to place their bet on Nigeria,” he said.

Adebayo said that the meeting which its objective was to create awareness on the AfCFTA and implementation programme would kick off conversations on the sector’s roles in making AfCFTA a success and expectations from the government.