Dr Okechukwu Enelemah, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment said the Nigeria Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Advisory Council (Industrial Council) has identified and agreed to implement initiatives across five core areas and enablers over the next 12 months.
The Initiative the Minister disclosed includes the installation 18,000km of fibre optic to improve broadband penetration and strategic power projects totalling 4.2GW of electricity.
At the World Press Conference in Abuja on Tuesday, Enelamah said the Council has set up five sub-committees with five focus areas seen as necessary to fulfil its objectives including; critical infrastructure, skills and capacity, trade and market access, policy and regulation, and financing.
On March 2017, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) established the Industrial Council to implement initiatives aimed at accelerating industrialization using private sector expertise and capital.
The primary objective of the Industrial Council is to assist the government in formulating policies and strategies that enhance the performance of a sector or industry in furtherance of the Industrialisation Program. The Council is chaired by the Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo while Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah is the Vice-chair. Other members include Aliko Dangote who is also vice-chair; Minister of State Industry, Trade and Investment, Aisha Abubakar; and Atedo Peterside also alternate vice-chair.
Speaking on Nigeria’s improvement on the recently improved ranking of Nigeria on the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Report, the Minister said, “We’re are delighted about the progress made on the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Report, which saw Nigeria rise 24 places from 169th to 145.
“I want to reiterate that we’re not resting on our laurels. In fact, this gives us the impetus to work even harder. We are committed to deepening on-going reforms. We are already rolling out the next 60-day action plan that will see us embark on new reforms areas as well as institutionalize the ones currently being enforced”.
He also pointed out that the rank was a marathon and not a 100-meter dash. Hence, Nigeria was committed to making Nigeria one of the easiest places to do business.
He also commented on the forth-coming D-8 Ministerial Meeting focusing on Industrial Cooperation from November 14th-16th in Abuja, which will be hosted by the Ministry and opened by the Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo. According to him, the meeting will focus more on deepening economic cooperation of member countries.
According to him,”Six priority sectors have been identified in the Industrial and Economic cooperation between member states namely: Trade; Agriculture and Food security; Industrial Cooperation and SME; Transportation; Energy and Minerals; and Tourism.
D-8 countries are Nigeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan and Turkey.
The main objective of the group is to promote the socio-economic development of member countries