By Felix Khanoba
The Federal Government is to put in place a national investment policy to attract more local and foreign direct investments in the country.
This was made known on Monday in Abuja during a media interactive session with the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo and the Minister of State, Amb. Mariam Katagum.
Adebayo, who expressed the readiness of the present administration to ensure a robust investment climate, restated the government’s commitment to rapid development of the six new economic zones in the country to boost manufacturing sector.
The minister said the Federal Government would also continue to support the ‘Buy Made in Nigeria Goods’ campaign to reposition the economy for better performance.
Speaking on the development of the investment policy, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Amb. Katagum said the move became necessary to attract new investors.
She said the policy which will be rolled out in not too distant time, is being worked on by the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC).
“The NIPC is working on having investment policy which we be the guide for people coming into the country wanting to invest and also ensuring there is an enabling environment,” she said.
On the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan, Katagum said the plan is currently being fine-tuned to meet present reality.
“The process has started for the review of the plan, it contains several policies like textile garment policy, tomato policy, and several others,” she said.
The minister expressed delight that some private operators have already shown interest in the cotton sector, saying “even before the conclusion of the review, we already have private sector partnership especially in the Kano and Funtua axis.”
Speaking on the border closure, Katagum said Nigeria will not fold its hands and allow the country to be flooded with smuggled goods.
“There was a meeting between the three countries; Niger, Benin and Nigeria, and what was agreed was that there is a need to activate joint border patrol to address the problem that led to the closure,” adding that the Federal Government is also working out a plan that will ensure residents of border communities are discouraged from smuggling activities.
“We will explore the Jaiz Bank’s financial inclusion programme and that of SMEDAN so that the local communities do not engage in illegal activities,” she said.