The Nigeria Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Advisory Council has agreed to implement initiatives across five core areas and enablers, including deployment of 18,000km fibre optic bandwidth in the next 12 months.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, made the announcement at a news conference in Abuja on Tuesday.
Fibre optic is the facility used in the process of sending information in the form of light signals along very thin glass or plastic threads, often in telephone wires or cables.
Enelamah said the deployment of the 18,000 km of fibre optic was to improve broadband penetration and strategic power projects, totalling 4.2GW of electricity.
He said that the council had set up five sub-committees to focus on critical infrastructure, skills and capacity, trade and market access, policy and regulation and financing to fulfil its objectives.
According to him, the council also agreed to work on other areas, including commencing implementation of the recently approved Road Trust Scheme to accelerate construction of national priority roads across the country.
Also to be implemented are an apprenticeship scheme to bridge the gap between industry skills requirement and supply from educational institutions, aimed at accelerating the implementation of the Nigerian Trade Remedy, Economic Safeguard and Anti-Dumping mechanism.
Enelamah said: “It will be recalled that the Federal Executive Council in March 2017, established the Industrial Council to implement initiatives aimed at accelerating industrialization, using private sector expertise and capital.
“The primary objective of the 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 programme.’’
He said that the ministry was delighted over the progress made on the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Report which saw Nigeria rise 24 places from 169th to 145.
He said: “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 institutionalise the ones currently being enforced.
“It’s a marathon and not a 100 meter dash. Government is committed to making Nigeria one of the easiest places to do business.’’
The minister said that the D-8 ministerial meeting that would focus on industrial cooperation would be held from November 14 to November 16th in Abuja.
He named the D-8 countries as Nigeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan and Turkey.
Enelamah said the main objective of the group was to promote the socio-economic development of member countries.
He said that six priority sectors had been identified in the industrial and economic cooperation between member states.
Enelamah named the priority areas as trade; agriculture and food security, industrial cooperation, small and medium Enterprises, transportation, energy, minerals and tourism.