As part of the efforts to realise the present administration's Transformation Agenda on investment, the federal government at the weekend, said it had within the last two years secured an investment commitment of $96 billion (N15.36 trillion) from both local and foreign investors. The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, gave the figure at the third annual seminar organised by the ministry for business correspondents and editors.
The seminar with theme "Leveraging on Sustained Economic Gains for a Successful Enterprise Nation," provided an opportunity for the ministry to highlight some of its achievement as well as challenges within the last one year.
Aganga said the commitment for the $96 billion investment was secured from investors who are willing to invest in key sectors of the economy. Some of the sectors according to him are power, oil and gas, railway, petrochemical and sugar refining.
The $96 billion investment commitment, he added, included the $1 billion to be invested by GE Electric in the owner sector, Dangote's $9 billion investment for the refining of crude oil as well as other commitments from China.
"We have pipeline investment of about $96 billion, which we are following up. This will be invested in areas of such, as power, refinery, petrochemical," he said. He said working with other key relevant government agencies, the ministry would ensure that huge part of the investment commitment becomes a reality.
The minister said the huge investment inflow into the country was a demonstration of the confidence which local and foreign investors have in Nigeria's investment climate. This, he said, was as a result of some of the reforms programme which the current administration is implementing.
For instance, the minister said for the first time in the history of the country, a comprehensive National Industrial Revolution Policy was formulated and approved.
The policy, which according to him 'would be launched soon', will help to revolutionise the country's investment climate and position it as one of the best place to do business globally. He said for the first time, industrial policies were being formulated in sectors where the country both have competitive and comparative advantage, adding that this was one of the viable ways to encourage the exports of made in Nigeria products.
He also said some of the obsolete laws affecting businesses in the country are currently being reviewed to enable them reflect current economic realities.
Aganga listed the Companies and Allied Matters Act 1990 and the bankruptcy act as some of the laws pencilled down for review.
He said: "We are also reviewing CAMA and bankruptcy laws. The bill on bankruptcy and insolvency has been prepared and would soon be going to the National Assembly.
The minister noted that the ministry would continue to implement programmes that would help to create jobs.
He said so far, his ministry had established 10,000 corporation which had help to provide jobs for about 250,000 people.
The ministry's target, he said is about 50,000 corporative, adding that this would assist in creating about one million jobs
Aganga said the reforms being implemented by the ministry had helped to reduce the cost of registering a big business with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) by 60 per cent, while that of small businesses have been reduced by 25 per cent.
On the reforms being carried out at the Abuja Securities and Commodities Exchange, the minister said the process would soon be concluded.