The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga has disclosed that about $14 billion has been committed to the petrochemical sector by federal government.
Aganga who stated this in Ilorin during commissioning of a project at Kamwire Industry,Ilorin Kwara state said by 2018,Nigeria would not be importing petroleum.
He said: “Today we have about minimum of $14bn committed to the petrochemical sector where its spread as I have just described to you hopeful will be chained by 2017 or 2018, where we will be self sufficient and we would no longer need to import petroleum products in this country.
“If I use that and compare to this industry, we are close to 2m metric tones of reserves bags of iron ore. We have the second largest in Africa and all these things you see here, they come from iron ore and yet we are importing, steel and iron into this country. We spent $3.3bn every year importing those items. In the next years, that $3.3bn will become $15bn.
“So if that people like Kamaldeen and others do not do what they are doing, we will remain poor as a nation, our youths will not have jobs in this country. That is why it is important we all embrace industrial revolution plan. We should encourage industrialisation. The good thing about this Kamwire is that it is also connected to SMES and creating jobs for other people, making its products to become raw materials for other industries and also creating job in those industries.”
The Minister who disclosed that the steel company would be supply raw materials to about 17 industries and more said if that continue,Nigeria will be saving about $15bn per annual.
“ I think your first phase, looking back is a project that will at least save us $4bn in our foreign reserves annually. And then you look at what it will cost us in the next 10 years, it will be $15bn. We will not be able to afford it as a nation and it will become a balance of payment deficit.”
He added that federal government was looking for a economy situation whereby Nigeria would be number one in Africa in the areas of agriculture, steel sector, auto policy, and oil and gas.
Aganga said federal government would also address issue of standard stressing that the country had never had standards.