The Nigerian cement industry has attracted additional investment worth $8 billion, driven largely by the implementation of the Federal Government’s Backward Integration Policy.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, who disclosed this during a meeting with the Indian business community in Lagos, added that the Federal Government is targeting an increased production capacity in the sector from about 28.5 million metric tonnes in 2013 to about 38 metric tonnes in 2014.
Olusegun Aganga said: “We have had a major success in the cement sector. For the first time ever in the history of Nigeria, we exported cement in 2013. We had the capacity of 28.5 million metric tonnes last year. Our current demand is between 18 to 20 million. However, this year it should be about 39 million metric tonnes and we should have one of the largest if not the largest cement factories in the world located in Nigeria.”
While reiterating that successes recorded in the cement sector are what Government wants to replicate in other sectors of the economy under the National Industrial Revolution Plan, he averred from the latest information through cement manufacturers that the total investment in cement manufacture is between $7bn and $8bn with employment capacity of about 1.6 million people. “The impact of the success story in the cement sector will be felt more with the inauguration of the new Mortgage Refinancing Institution that will support building and construction in housing. The housing sector has a lot of potentials in terms of job creation,” he stated.
The Minister further noted that in agreement with the Federal Government’s Industrial Revolution Plan, a new policy to revamp and expedite the growth and development of the cotton, textile and garment sectors would soon be unveiled. He also revealed that the policy would address the mulch-faceted problems in the sector ranging from inaccessibility to long-term financing to helping textile manufacturers increase their production capacity.
According to Aganga, the new policy on cotton, textile and garment processing ought to have been out in 2013, but Government has decided to carryout one more round of consultation in January 2014. He expressed hope that by February 2014, the policy on cotton, textile and garment processing will be published.
The Minister indicated that some aspects of the policy have already been implemented; saying in the area of finance, Government has provided N100bn CTG Fund but a case from the textile industries has demanded for a lower interest rate for a longer term. “President Goodluck Jonathan has graciously approved that the Bank of Industry should implement this by converting the loans to equity. We have started implementing this already but we hope that the new policy on CTG which is to be out soon will address most of the challenges facing the sector,” he observed.
The Industry, Trade and Investment Minister said that Government would address imbalance in the tariff structure between raw materials and finished goods as part of the renewed efforts to encourage value addition through the processing of local raw materials.
He expressed the willpower of the Ministry to increase and improve the intensity and worth of the trade between Nigeria and countries of the world. He cited African countries as presently accounting for about three per cent of the global trade for operating at the bottom of the value chain and exporting most of its raw materials instead of finished goods. He also inferred that the focus of Government is to improve the quality and quantity of its trade as a country through value addition so that the country can export more finished products, create jobs and earn more revenue for the government.
“We now have a robust Common External Tariff that we all have agreed to. Nigeria played the leadership role in putting this in place. The new CET, which is expected to take effect in January 2015 will involve a re-classification of the tariff structure of some raw materials and address the imbalance which makes it easier and more profitable for people to import goods rather than process abundant raw materials, since the tariff on some raw materials are higher than that of imported finished goods,” he said.
Federal Republic of Nigeria Press Release