…new textile policy out soon
Nigeria’s cement industry has attracted additional investment worth $8 billion, driven largely by the implementation of the Federal Government’s Backward Integration Policy.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, who disclosed this during a meeting with the Indian business community in Lagos, added that the Federal Government was targeting an increased production capacity in the sector, from about 28.5 million metric tonnes in last year to about 38 metric tonnes in 2014.
Aganga, said, “We have had a major success in the cement sector. For the first time ever in the history of Nigeria, we exported cement in 2013. We had capacity of 28.5 million metric tonnes last year. Our current demand is between 18 to 20 million. However, this year, it should be about 39 million metric tonnes, and we should have one of the largest, if not the largest cement factory in the world in Nigeria.
“The success recorded in the cement sector is what we want to replicate in other sectors under the National Industrial Revolution Plan. According to the latest information from cement manufacturers, total investment into the cement is between is between $7bn and $8bn and employs about 1.6million people. The impact of the success story in the cement sector will be felt more with the inauguration of the new Mortgage Refinancing Institution that will support building and construction in housing. The housing sector has a lot of potential in terms of job creation.”
The minister noted that, in line with the Federal Government’s Industrial Revolution Plan, a new policy that would revamp and fast-track the growth and development of the cotton, textile and garment sector would soon be unveiled.
He said that the policy would address the multifaceted problems facing the sector, including access to long-term finance to help textile manufacturers increase their production capacity.
Aganga said, “The new policy on Cotton, Textile and Garment should have been out last year but we have decided to do one more round of consultation this month. I hope that by February this year, the policy on Cotton, Textile and Garment will be out. Already, there are certain aspects of it that we have started implementing. For instance, in the area of finance, the Federal Government provided N100bn CTG Fund but there a case from the textile industries that they needed it at lower interest rate and for a longer term. President Goodluck Jonathan has graciously approved that the Bank of Industry implements this by converting the loans to equity. We have started implementing this already but we hope the new policy on CTG, which will be out soon , will address most of the challenges facing the sector.”
In order to boost job creation, the minister added that the government would address the imbalance in the tariff structure between raw materials and finished goods as part of renewed efforts to encourage value addition through processing of local raw materials.
He said, “We want to increase and improve the level and quality of trade between Nigeria and the rest of the world. If you look at Africa today, it accounts for about three per cent of global trade because it operates at the bottom of the value chain, exporting most of its raw materials instead of finished goods. Our focus is to improve the quality and quantity of our trade as a country through value addition so that we can export more finished products, create jobs and earn more revenue for the government.
“We now have a robust Common External Tariff that we all have agreed to. Nigeria played the leadership role in putting this in place. The new CET, which is expected to take effect in January 2015, will involve a re-classification in tariff structure of some raw materials and address the imbalance, which makes it easier and more profitable for people to import goods rather than process our abundant raw materials because the tariff on some raw materials are higher than that on imported finished goods.
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