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EU gives FG N4.2bn for investment climate reforms

By on January 29, 2014

The European Union in a bid to boost trade and improve productive capacity in the country has launched the Nigeria Competitiveness Support Programme.

The programme is supported by the German Society for International Corporation, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation and the World Bank.

It will enable the EU to provide fresh N4.2bn to increase competitiveness in the non-oil related sectors of the Nigerian economy.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, confirmed the figure while speaking at the launch of the programme in Abuja on Monday.

He said the programme, which is central to the National Industrial Revolution Plan of the Federal Government, was made up of three components.

They are effective management of trade policy and trade facilitation through strengthened trade support institutions; improved business and investment climate through regulatory reforms; and the establishment of national quality infrastructure.

These, he stated, would support the job creation efforts of the Federal Government, thus reducing the level of poverty in the country.

Aganga said, “Over a total of N4.2bn will be invested in key pillars to move Nigeria’s economy beyond oil. This is an enabler that will increase our productivity and make us compete not just locally, but internationally.

“In order to be competitive, there are five to six factors that will improve our productivity and make us face bigger players in the international scene; but more importantly, to support our industrial revolution plan.

“We need to make sure we have affordable financing, make sure we improve our business and investment climate, and make sure we focus on standards.”

Also speaking at the event, the EU Ambassador, Mr. Michel Arrion, called on all stakeholders to take full ownership of the programme.

He said, “The programme is unique as it will support government’s effort to diversify and improve Nigeria’s competitiveness in the non-oil sector.

“The EU attaches a great importance to its relations with Nigeria as an important political and economic force in West Africa and a key player on the African continent, and is willing to assist Nigerian leaders in improving the living conditions of all Nigerians.”

He described the non-oil sector as the future of Nigeria owing to its job creation potential.