The Federal Government has said as part of its investment initiative, it is working out modalities to mobilise and utilize about $25 billion Nigeria Diaspora Remittances to private equity for productive use in the economy.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite, stated this Tuesday in Abuja at the ongoing Ministerial briefing with them, ‘Unlocking Industry, Trade, and Investment in the Renewed Hope Agenda administration.

Dr. Uzoka-Anite said the Ministry is building on the already laid foundation of the president, Bola Ahmed Tinubu in a bid to increase private equity capital formation through the Nigeria Diaspora fund.

She said, “His Excellency Mr. President has laid the foundation to boost the growth of industries and we are building on this foundation to increase private equity capital formation hence the reason for initiating the Nigeria diaspora fund.

“The Nigeria diaspora remit between $20-25B annually according to the world bank, but these remittances have not been channeled intentionally to private equity.  Therefore, the investment initiative by my ministry is creating the platform to target, mobilize and utilize some of these funds into the productive economy.

The minister said while there is strong support for this initiative, it is also receiving strong support from development finance partners there are paving the way for the success of the initiative and economic boom soonest.

“Our Private Equity and Asset Management firms have shown strong support for this investment initiative with a huge response to the Request for Expression of Interest we published. Our Private Equity and Asset Management firms are adept at attracting investments and the support from the Ministry is an assurance that the Government is backing this investment drive and will provide the enabling environment, remove the roadblocks and red tapes to ensure that these investments thrive.

“We are not limiting the investment drive to only Nigerian Diasporans, we are reaching out to all fund providers. We have also received strong support from development finance partners and have no doubt that with the success of this initiative, Nigeria will witness a boom in the formation of businesses, a strong financial and capital market and the creation of a strong economic and industrial base to catalyze a $1 trillion dollar GDP economy,” she said.

Dr. Uzok-Anite said the Ministry has Re-launched the Nigerian Trade Policy 2023-2027, geared at stimulating the domestic economy by connecting Nigerian SME’s to the global value chain thereby ensuring that Nigerian businesses have the capacity to be globally competitive.

She also stated that to enhance Non-Oil exports, the Ministry and the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) identified the major blockers faced by Nigerian businesses in getting their goods and services into other countries, and we are providing technical assistance and intervention mechanisms to assist these businesses to export. Our goal is simple: remove technical and non-technical barriers to trade, boost investment and make exporting more efficient for businesses.

The minister while speaking on the achievements of the ministry in Trade stated the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex which used to generate an abysmal revenue of lass that N20 million to the federal government has become a revenue generator, raking jn over N400 million in the last one year.

She said, “Under the auspices of the Ministry, the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex has significantly increased revenue to the Federal Government, totaling over Four Hundred and Thirty Million Naira (N430,000,000) in the first quarter of 2024, which is significantly more compared to the N17,883,406 accrued in the same period in the previous year.

“We are now set to again host the popular Lagos International Trade Fair which was last hosted 14 years ago in 2010, re-establishing our dear country as the market hub of West Africa. This will create increased market linkages and access for our manufacturers, suppliers, farmers, and traders across Nigeria, significantly boosting the economic activities of the country in an unprecedented way through tourism, trade, manufacturing and increased job creation.”

On a sectoral basis, the Minister said steps are taken to unlock the potentials inherent in each sector, geared towards achieving growth of the economy.

“In collaboration with the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) – the anchor institution for the National Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP) and regulatory body for automotive industry in Nigeria, the strategy and goal of the Ministry is to return the Nigerian Automotive industry to supply 40% of its components locally comprising of glasses, tyres, batteries, brake pads, foam and seats, exhaust, electric cables etc.

“To further support Industrialization, we have issued Import Duty Exemption Certificate (IDEC) letters of recommendation to more than 50 manufacturers to boost expansion and production capacity. Additionally, we are implementing growth programs through the Backward Integration Program(BIP) for the following products – raw sugar, palm oil, automobile assembly, battery assembly, cassava starch and tomato concentrate and others. We are supporting the needles and syringe industry and the health sector to ensure we have a constant supply of hygienic instruments and devices.

“The Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) has commenced a Product Authentication Mark (PAM) scheme – which introduces distinctive marks on regulated products to streamline identification, improve market surveillance, and combat substandard and counterfeit goods in Nigeria.

“Over 16,000 jobs have been created in the past year, through programs and interventions by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), such programs include National Business Skills Development Initiative (NBSDI), Conditional Grant Scheme (CGS), and General Enterprise Development Training (GEDT). These initiatives are aimed at Job creation, access to capital, poverty eradication, and economic growth,” she said.

Dr. Uzoka-Anite said all Initiatives are aimed at removing bottlenecks and eradicating red-tapism and creating a business enabling  environment in order to drive growth in the economy of the nation.