President Goodluck Jonathan, Friday last week said the Federal Government had concluded plans to bring down the cost of funding to the real sector of the economy through its new programme called the Financing Value Chain Initiative (FVCI).
The president explained that this move by the federal government would give manufacturers in the country the opportunity to extend their loan repayment periods and also create access to new opportunities for the industrial sector.
Jonathan, during the 42nd annual general meeting of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), stressed that the initiative, when fully implemented, will provide small and large businesses in the country reasonable and affordable long-term funding opportunities.
He stated that the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) offered a unique pathway to Nigeria’s industrialisation, which is taking into consideration, areas of comparative advantage, relative to the rest of the world in terms of the nation’s natural endowment.
The president, who was represented by the Vice-President, Namadi Sambo, noted that the NIRP had made remarkable achievements within a short implementation period, maintaining that the programme had impacted positively on the country’s image.
According to him, Nigeria is no longer a country that consumes and produces primary products, but one that can manufacture, build and add value.
“Our manufacturing current contribution to the rebased Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stands at 6.7 per cent, with the NIRP. We are driving these efforts towards 15 per cent. We shall use this to create millions of jobs, create wealth, diversify our economy, broaden exports and increase government’s income.
“We hope to leverage on these to create vibrant industrial cities and parks within the country in the shortest possible time. Necessary support structures and enablers are being put in place to make the industrial sector globally competitive,” he said.
The president explained that the federal government had put in place appropriate policies, programmes and projects aimed at effectively tackling some of the constraints facing the manufacturing sector, adding that the measures will not only impact on the manufacturing sector, but also to other sectors such as agriculture, education, health and human services.
“As you are aware, we have already privatised power generation and distribution in order to significantly and effectively increase power supply to the industry and other sectors. This will enhance installed capacity utilisation and reduce cost of production.
We intervened just last week by paying off a debt of over N25 billion these generation companies owed for gas supplies to guarantee uninterrupted supply of gas,” he said.