The Nigerian government has signed a $30 million export financing agreement with investment partners in order to promote industrial revolution in the country and boost earnings from local manufacturing.
The agreement known as the Made in Nigeria for Exports (MINE) project was signed by President Muhammadu Buhari with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Africa Finance Corp.( AFC), the African Development Bank (AfDB), Bank of Industry (BOI) and the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) at the Council Chambers of the State House.
The signing of the agreement marks the formal preparation for the take-off of the Nigeria industrial revolution plan as conceived in the country’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
According to President Buhari, Project MINE was conceived to position Nigeria as the pre-eminent manufacturing hub in Sub-Saharan Africa and a major exporter of made in Nigeria products to the West African sub-region, the entire Africa and the World.
For the take-off of the project, three places in different parts of the country have been designated as special economic zones (SEZ). The three places were named as Enyimba Economic City, in Abia State, Funtua Cotton Cluster in Katsina State and Lekki Model Industrial Park in Lagos.
Currently, the Manufacturing sector contributes 14.07 percent to the country’s GDP and the MINE project is expected to boost it to 20 percent which will in turn generate $30 billion in annual export earnings and create 1.5 million jobs by 2025.
What the Nigerian government is doing to achieve this objective
The Nigerian government has called for the intervention of experienced special economic zone developers and operators for a partnership with the overall goal of upgrading the existing free trade zones in Calabar and Kano that are owned by the government.
Contracts in excess of N19.45 billion ($53.8 million) to upgrade the Calabar and Kano Free Trade Zones have also been awarded.
The government has set up the Nigeria SEZ Investment Company Limited as a vehicle for participating in Public Private Partnerships involving Federal and State governments and local and foreign private investors. This company will develop new Special Economic Zones all over the country, offering advanced infrastructure and facilities at competitive costs. The projects in the pilot phase include Enyimba Economic City, Funtua Cotton Cluster and Lekki Model Industrial Park.
In order to attract investors, the federal government is offering incentives and making it easy to do business in some areas critical to globally competitive export-oriented manufacturing operations.