“Nigerian Industrialization leveraging on fourth Industrial Revolution”

Clem Agba

12TH OCTOBER, 2021


I am delighted to give this address on ‘’Nigerian Industrialization leveraging on 4th Industrial Revolution”. This event is convened to spotlight on Nigeria Industrialization Summit and Expo which is one of the activities to create food security and diversify the Nigeria Economy. This aligns with this Administration’sdrive on economic diversification, job creation and enhanced agro value chains, with the ultimate objective of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty over 10 years.

2. You may recall that this Administration has continued to place emphasis on the need for an aggressive economic diversification at the national and sub-national levels. Today’s spotlight is how Nigeria can feed, clothe and House itself. This exhibition gives me joy as this is a demonstration that the Federal, the sub-nationals and the private sector have yielded to the call and have put in place measures to diversify the economy and to generate alternative revenue sources to complement the dwindling income from the Federation Account which was mostly affected by the decline in oil revenue as a result of pandemic which resulted to global economic downturn.

3. The Pandemic, which started as a health problem also later became an economic issue. Thus, the challenge was double pronged – health and economic. Governments all over the world were faced with the difficult decision of bringing economic activities to a halt to curb the spread of the virus or of continuing economic activities at the risk of the lives of their citizens. Measures put in place by the Government of Nigeria have ensured that both health and economic data have continued to be on the positive trajectory. Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 5.01% (year-on-year) in real terms in the second quarter of 2021. The Q2 2021 growth rate was higher than the -6.10% decline recorded in Q2 2020 and the 0.51% growth recorded in Q1 2021 year-on-year, indicating the return of business and economic activity near levels seen prior to the nationwide implementation of COVID-19 related restrictions.

4. To sustain this growth trajectory, this Special-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZs) an Initiative by African Development Bank Group, Public and and Private sector will be established in all 36 States of Nigeria including F.C.T. It is a 10 year development programme to be financed under the NSO and AFDB which will guarantee steady annualgrowth rate of about 5% over the next 10years from year 2023.

5. The Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZs) is perfectly in line with Federal Government Policy to promote non-oil revenue generation and Zero-Oil Economy Plan, optimizing agro-value chain and continuous use of local content for economic prosperity at the national and sub-national levels. The Zero-Oil Economy Plan can now be sustained by the special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) for the 36 states and FCT guaranteed by Federal Government of Nigeria and Non Sovereign Organisation window NSO for the Private sectors, also by AFDB which Madewell Garment Limited, promoters of Jesse Export Processing Zones and Anchors is leveraging to drive the Private section of our economy. The Private sector has capacity if pursued with desired commitment by the Public and Private Sector toprovid 25 million permanent employments and 25 million housing. The plan amongst others, is to add at least US$150 Billion to the country’s foreign reserves cumulatively from non-oil exports over the next ten years; create at least 500,000 additional export linked jobs annually due principally to increase in productive export activities; lift at least ten million Nigerians out of poverty and empower each State and its people by integrating them into the export value chain. These efforts/initiatives, therefore, would unlock the potentials of each State in the development and promotion of at least one crop for export.

6. The SAPZ programme which is Centred on Commercial Agri-business will attract Foreign Direct Investment for Infrastructure Development such as Rail transformation to evacuate bulk raw materials from farm. Silos to processing Zones. Rail will also be storage used to move containers of finished cargo to port of shipment owing to massive employment housing provision becomes another key sector to be developed over the 10 years. The zones are expected to develop captive power plants along side, water, Health care, qualitative education system, hospitality and human capital development.

7. We are also focusing on concentric diversification strategies especially in agriculture that can deliver sustained, job intensive and inclusive growth. This requires production and export of range of products for overseas markets to earn foreign exchange by unlocking agriculture value chain. Agricultural value chain include development and dissemination of plant and animal genetic material, input supply, farmer organization, farm production, post-harvest handling, processing, provision of technologies of production and handling, grading criteria and facilities, cooling and packing technologies, post-harvest local processing, industrial processing, storage, transport, finance, and feedback from markets.

8. As a matter of deliberate government policy, the current Administration has taken several steps to increase our non-oil revenue generation. These steps include but not limited to VAT reforms in the Finance Act 2020 (maintaining the increase in VAT rate to 7.5%), Customs Administration Enhancement, Tax incentives and exemptions, increased remittances and recovery of unremitted revenues from GOEs, increased revenues from cross-border business transactions, unlocking value from FG assets that are lying idle or under-utilized, etc.

9. The aforementioned steps have helped to restructure our economy from being described as a mono-economy, depending on oil only to one that is relatively diversified. The ratio of non-oil to oil sector is 55% to 45%. Non- oil currently is contributing more than oil sector to National revenue. We have ensured a steady movement from 33 Sectors to 44 Sectors presently. Furthermore, the Agricultural sector now accounts for 25.08% of our nation’s GDP, the Trade sector is 16.86% of our GDP and the Real Estate sector 6.85%. These Sectors now dominate Nigeria’s economy. There was also a significant growth in Financial Services, Communications, and Entertainment sectors. The Oil and Gas industry’s contribution to the economy is approximately 8.86%.

10. In realization of the need to grow the economy on an inclusive growth and sustainable economic development trajectory, my Ministry initiated the process for the preparation of a Medium Term National Development Plan 2021 – 2025 to guide Government policies, programmes and projects as well as private sector operations from now to 2025 while this would be inspired by Nigeria Agenda 2050 which encapsulates our long term vision for Nigeria.

11. This is a transformative development plan that will help unlock higher investments in all sectors and stimulate economic growth, enough to move Nigeria decisively towards sustainable development goals. Of urgent importance is that the Plan will lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty within the next 10 years and move the country to the top 5% of the world by 2050. Work is at anadvancedstage for the completion of the MTNDP 2021-2025 after which work on the long term plan will accelerate.

12. Finally, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, we believe that the effective implementation of the MTNDP 2021 – 2025 and Nigeria Agenda 2050 when finally approved, portends a positive and brighter outlook for the Nigerian economy in the medium to long terms. In spite of the COVID-19 challenges, Nigeria remains the largest economy and most populous country in Africa with an estimated population of more than 200 million people, which is expected to grow to 411 million by 2050 and become the third most populous country in the world after China and India. The country’s middle class of about 50 million people is expected to help grow the country into one of the top-twenty global economies by 2050. These statistics show that Nigeria has enormous potential and opportunities ahead of it.

13. Nigeria will continue to provide the enabling environment for business to thrive. Let me reassure you once more that the Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari GCFRis continuallyinterested in attracting and supporting investment and partnershipsin Nigeria. The government is creating an enabling macroeconomic environment by eliminating barriers and putting in place many incentives to attract investments. In addition to incentives in the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP), we have various policy measures to enhance the enabling environment and ensuringgood governance/transparency since assumption of office. The Treasury Single Account (TSA) application, Tax Reform, development of Anti-Corruption Strategy 2017 – 2021 and the Presidential Initiative on Ease of Doing Business readily comesto mind.

14. In view of the obvious economic challenges and the inherent opportunities in our post COVID-19 programmes, I will charge you to take advantage of these programmes aimed at sustainable economic recovery of our country Such the N- CARES P for R programme, the Bio-economy, the Cinematography and entertainment windows to change the narratives on industrialization of this great country.

15. I thank you all for your kind attention.

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