Jonathan unfolds economic diversification plan

By Roseline Okere*

Lays foundation stone of Procter and Gambles’ N43bn plant

THE Federal Government yesterday, unveiled plans to develop the country as an outsourcing destination with the aim of enhancing Gross Domestic Product (GDP), domestic industrialisation and structural diversification of the economy.

President Goodluck Jonathan made this known at the foundation stone laying ceremony for the construction of a N43 billion Procter and Gamble (P&G) baby-care factory in Agbara, Ogun State.

The President, at the occasion, renewed government’s commitment to tackling the challenges militating against the growth of the country’s industrial sector.

Jonathan, who was represented by the Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, said that government has opened up the key sectors of the economy to enable the participation of more indigenous and foreign investors, especially in areas where the country has competitive and comparative advantage.

He stated: “We are working on reducing bureaucratic obstacles to private sector investment and developing a strong public and private sector partnership with government as the enabler.

“The government has invested heavily in education, health, technology and infrastructure and also promoted entrepreneurship and competition within the ambit of fair, equitable and enforceable laws.

“We have opened up the key sectors of the economy to participation by more indigenous and foreign investors, especially in areas where we have competitive and comparative advantage.  This is to ensure that such investments provide good returns on investment, maximum impact on the local economy through job creation, value chain enhancement and capacity development.

“It is also to develop the country as an outsourcing destination with the aim of enhancing GDP growth, domestic industrialisation and structural diversification of the economy. In this regard, we have kicked off a National Industrial Revolution Plan, working painstakingly with all stakeholders in the public and private sectors to ensure success. For the first time, we are linking industries where we have competitive and comparative advantage to innovation and skills development”.

Jonathan disclosed that the One-Stop Investment Centre (OSIC) in the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) has been strengthened to achieve efficient coordination of investment facilitation between relevant government agencies and achieve a 48-hour response target for all enquiries. Businesses can also be registered within 24 hours now, he assured.

President of P&G), Laurent Philippe, stated that the company, which has been in the country for 19 years now remains committed to becoming the leading Fast Moving Commercial Goods (FMCG,) social and economic investor in the country by growing Nigeria’s economy in synergy with the President’s Transformation Agenda.

He disclosed that P&G employs over 3,000 direct and indirect employees through its offices, distributors and suppliers and has also created over 200 small to medium enterprises (SME’s) with cumulative investments of over $100 million.

He noted that the $250 million baby care plant, which is planned to occupy a land area of 16 hectares with additional 24 hectares for expansion will on completion provide 250 jobs directly and will create 300 SMEs.

“P&G has established significant investment foot-prints in Nigeria in its 20 years of operations in the country. Nigeria remains a focus area for P&G and our investments continue contributing to strong inclusive economic growth,” he said.

*Courtesy of http:www.ngrguardiannews.com

 

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