Olusegun Aganga, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, on Friday said that manufacturing and trade contribute at least 27 per cent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product.
Aganga stated this at the 4th Annual Seminar for Industry, Trade and Investment Correspondents and Editors in Abuja.
According to him, Micro, Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises account for 46 per cent of the GDP and industry accounts for 25.9 per cent of Nigeria’s GDP.
He said: “This actually tells you how the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment contributes significantly to the Nigerian economy.
“In 2011 when we took over, there was no comprehensive and coordinated industrial policy for the country.
“There was no strategy to diversify our economy and revenue base.”
The minister said that the contributions of the manufacturing sector to the GDP was very low, capacity utilisation was also low, while massive jobs lose were prevalent.
Aganga added that there was no emphasis on value addition, noting: “For decades, our country specialised in exporting raw materials.
“We had weak industrial structures and depended on importation of most of our products.
“That was the situation in 2011 before President Jonathan’s administration came on board.
“In order to reverse the ugly trend, President Goodluck Jonathan in February 2013, launched the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan as a major game-changer.
“This was based on the principle that no nation had successfully moved from being a poor to rich nation without a robust industrial and services sector.”
Aganga said the country had no comprehensive automotive policy in 2011, “but today,
over 22 companies have signed technical commitments to manufacture or assemble cars in Nigeria and by early next year, some of them will be in the country”.
The minister said that the number of investments that went into the automotive industry
in the last 10 years was $62 million, “but in less than one year, we attracted about $150 million and over $300 million coming up 2015.”
Aganga added that the country had no automotive test laboratories in 2011, “but today, we have three of such laboratories, with about four universities offering automotive engineering courses”.
He said the manufacturing capacity utilisation for the automotive sector had also gone up
by 40 per cent.
He said: “In the sugar industry, the number of jobs in 2011 before President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration was 3,860, but today, we have about 180,000 jobs.
“Investment in sugarcane was $100 million before President Jonathan came on board, but today, it has hit N3.2 billion.”
The two-day seminar will end on Saturday.