By Felix Khanoba
The Nigerian economy has attracted over $5 billion worth of investment commitments from several business operators in China.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, who made this known in Abuja on Tuesday, said 13 Chinese companies signed agreement on the planned investments during the just concluded meeting of China and African leaders in Beijing.
He said one of the companies, Ruyi Group, single-handedly pledged to invest $2 billion into the Cotton, Textile and Garment’s sector of the Nigerian economy.
His words: “The President was in China just this last week and a number of us went with him for this Forum of China-Africa Cooperation…, there is this Ruyi Group, this group is looking to invest over US2billion dollars in Nigeria to support cotton, textile and garment sector.
“That will go across the value chain; growing cotton and all the things to produce textile and garment that we wear. This company is looking to invest in at least three of the special economic zones we are launching; the Enyimba City in Aba, the Modern Industrial Park in Lekki Free Trade Zone and Kano Free Trade Zone as well as other facilities.”
While expressing the readiness of the present administration to always give a boost to the industry, trade and investment sectors of the country, the minister said several schemes have been rolled-out to promote the Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises MSMEs sub-sector in the country.
On the controversy over the appointment of a consultant to run the World Bank $160 million Growth and Employment (GEM) project, Enelamah dismissed the claim that the consultant was related to him.
He said: “There was a concern that a particular consultant that was related to me was the project coordinator, let me say that when we got here the project was being managed as part of the civil service but the World Bank was not happy because it was stalled.
“They recommended that a recruiting should be done and it should be opened up and they participated in that process, at the final (stage) I think eight candidates of which four were pre-qualified and of which they were all ranked.
“The person who came first in the transparent process wanted to be paid in foreign currency and had demands which the World Bank was not prepared to meet…, so it is the person who came second who happened, 13 years ago, to have worked one year in a company that I was associated with (that took the position).”