Federal government and General Electric yesterday signed an investment commitment where the company will invest $1 billion (about N154 billion) in Nigeria over the next five years to strengthen its local presence in the country.
The GE's investment plans include $250 million capital expenditure that will make Nigeria regional hub for manufacturing which include a new assembly and manufacturing facility to be located in Calabar.
The company said it will also spend additional $800 million over the next five years in local sourcing of goods/services, labour, staff welfare and training.
Signing on behalf of the federal government, the Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga said that the investment plan which is in the critical areas of the economy supports the government industrialization strategy.
"No nation has managed to moved from a poor to a rich nation by relaying entirely on exporting raw materials without exploring the industrial base and services sector. No country has done this in history," he said.
Aganga said that the investment plans is the beginning of many more to come and thanked the GE for investing in Calabar free trade zone as it will help support government policy of setting up of free trade zones in the country.
Speaking, the Global Chairman/CEO of GE, Jeff Immelt expressed his company's commitment to growing its business in Nigeria .
"This planned investment is part of the commitment we made when we signed the investment incentive MoU with the federal government of Nigeria in 2009. We are committed to playing our part in the sustainable growth of the country and the positive impact this will have on Nigeria and the continent of Africa as a whole," he said.
He said that the planned investment is expected to create 2,300 jobs, 300 of which will be direct hire of GE and the remaining 2000 indirect jobs created through GE suppliers that will support its expanded operations.