Foreign exchange: FG to give priority to investors – Minister

By Felix Khanoba

The Federal Government says it will give priority on foreign exchange allocation to investors that procure machines and other equipment that are not readily available in Nigeria.

Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo, made this known in Abuja on Monday while receiving the Greece Ambassador to Nigeria, Ioannis Plotas, in his office.

He said the country is well endowed and ready to assist investors in every way to ensure the success of their investment.

Plotas had told the Minister that he was in his office following requests by Greek businessmen who were interested in investing in the country for necessary information and guidance on investment opportunities in the country.

Adebayo told the Ambassador that the Federal Government will assist foreign investors by creating a conducive environment for them to conduct their businesses.

He said the Federal Government will be happy if the Greek investors considered investing in the power nation’s sector.

He also called on Greek investors to consider setting up agro-allied companies using the abundant agricultural products in the country.

Adebayo assured the investors that they will not have issues with getting foreign exchange to import machines and other equipment needed for their businesses as long as they made use of local materials.

In another development, the minister at a meeting with the power sector leaders on the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA) on Monday, listed conditions that are necessary for the successful realization of the country’s objectives in ratifying the agreement.

According to the former governor of Ekiti State, such conditions include;

building the capacity to produce goods and services to sufficiently high levels to unleash the benefit of the economics of scale; improving price competitiveness of Nigerian products through improvements in production, trade logistics, and quality infrastructure.

Others are mitigating the threats of predatory trade practices including smuggling, dumping, abuses of rules of origin among others.

He noted that AfCFTA complements Nigeria’s export diversification aspiration as it provides preferential market access for Nigerian products and services in the vast African market.

“AfCFTA besides export diversification and economic growth success in AfCFTA will also be measured in terms of our ability to create jobs for our teeming youth population, grow our local content, develop forward and backward linkages in priority products and services.

“I must mention that electricity is a top 20 traded service in Africa and the sector will remain a high growth area for a while to come. So not only is there the opportunity to grow the domestic market, we must also evaluate and take advantage of the market in Africa,” he said.

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