..Targets $30 Billion Annual Revenue Generation
The federal government has set a robust ambition of raising Nigeria’s manufacturing output to 20 per cent of Gross Domestic Product, GDP within six years.
Under the arrangement government plans to set up production hubs across the country in partnership with regional aid banks.
Nigeria’s manufacturing base, currently contributes less than 10 per cent to its total gross domestic product (GDP), and has maintained a strong currency to ensure it can keep imports pouring in, with a growing proportion coming from China.
Government is targeting to actualise this feat via the “Project MINE” Made in Nigeria for Export, under which it expects to generate over $30 billion annually by 2025,” the ministry of industry, trade and investment said in a statement.
The government has set up Nigeria SEZ Investment Company, which will finance industrial parks in special economic zones in the commercial capital of Lagos, southeastern state of Abia and northern state of Katsina.
The government is currently raising capital of $250 million for Nigeria SEZ Investment Company, with plans to double its equity to $500 million over four years, the ministry said.
Lenders such as African Development Bank, Afreximbank, African Finance Corporation and Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority have shown interest in co-investing with the Nigerian government, which would own a 25 percent stake. Two Chinese groups have also shown interest, the ministry said.
Nigeria’s manufacturing and agricultural sectors have been neglected since the 1970s oil boom, when the country began making easy money from crude oil sales. Nigeria, where the vast majority of the population lives on less than $2 a day, recently emerged from a recession but growth is fragile and the government is trying to diversify its revenue away from its reliance on oil.
The ministry said that the new investment company would facilitate investment into the special economic zones. However, some lawmakers have questioned government’s investment in the company, which is meant to be private-sector led. Critics point to lacklustre interest in some other free trade zones around Nigeria, such as the $300 million Tinapa resort in the southeastern state of Cross Rivers, which was set up in 2007 and envisaged as a tourist resort and duty-free shopping area.
In 2010, Lagos state, touted plans to set up a free trade zone with Chinese investors to develop local manufacturing but little production has been set up there.