The Minister of Trade and Investments, Olusegun Aganga, said on Wednesday that more than N8.5 trillion foreign direct investments, FDIs, are coming to Nigeria over the next five years as a direct consequence of the Federal Government's effort to create an environment that would attract investors to the country .
The minister, who gave this indication while presenting his ministry's performance evaluation report to the Federal Executive Council, FEC, during its meeting in Abuja, said United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, UNCTAD, puts Nigeria's FDI for last year alone at $8.9 billion, making the country the most sought after investment destination in Africa.
According to Mr. Aganga, trade accounts for 18.1 per cent of Nigeria's Gross Domestic Product, GDP, with Nigeria currently exporting 117 commodities to 103 countries of the world; with the United States, Brazil, Netherlands, India and France topping the list.
He listed the export products to include crude oil and solid minerals, raw hide, cocoa and by-products, sesame and cashew nuts, with Lagos, Kano, Ondo, Ogun and Oyo constituting the five top exporting states in the country.
In Africa, Mr. Aganga puts recorded trade from Algeria, South Africa, Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana as Nigeria's biggest trading partners, adding that his ministry is increasing efforts to attract more investments and increase exports.
Acknowledging Nigeria's need for a strong industrial base, the minister said over 3,000 exporters have been trained in areas of labeling and packaging to help attain the level reached by developed nations, which he said made it not by exporting mere raw materials.
With increasing investments, he said about 2.5 million direct and indirect jobs have been created in the textile and cement industries since he assumed office, adding that trade units have also been created in Nigeria's missions abroad to promote investment.
On the erosion menace in the South East, President Goodluck Jonathan, who presided over the meeting, said a special cabinet delegation has been dispatched to the region to assess the progress of work on the erosion control contracts there, warning that he would not hesitate to revoke non-performing contracts.
The special committee is headed by the Director General, Bureau for Public Procurement, Emeka Eze, with representatives from the Ministries of Lands, Works, Environment, Water Resources and the office of the Secretary of Government of the Federation, SGF.
Presidential spokesman, Reuben Abati, said the President directed the committee to proceed immediately to visit ongoing erosion sites in the south-eastern part of the country with a view to ascertaining the seriousness of the contractors.
"This team of experts from the various departments of government will assess the state of execution and completion of the various projects; look at ways of better management of the projects as well as advise government on the prioritisation of those projects," Mr. Abati said.
He said the president made it clear that unserious contractors involved in any of these projects would have their projects determined and may be prosecuted if they are found culpable.
The Minister of Environment, Hadiza Mailafia, who also presented the report of achievements of her ministry, said the South East was the most hit by erosion and has 15 ongoing projects there, two of which are to be commissioned within a fortnight.
She said about 3 million tons of garbage are all over the streets across the country, for which 26 waste recycling facilities are being set up across the country, in collaboration with the state governments.