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FG promoting manufacturing, local productions in Nigeria —Osinbajo

•Innoson, Chinese firms to partner in $1bn foreign investment plan

VICE President, Yemi Osinbajo, has assured the private sector in Nigeria that the Federal Government will continue to put in place, the right policies that will encourage massive manufacturing and production of goods in the country.

Osinbajo spoke on Monday, at a meeting in the Presidential Villa, with a delegation from the Innoson Group and some Chinese business interests, including Shangdong Broadcasting Group led by Chief Innocent Chukwuma, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Innoson Group.

He said in the next few years, President Muhammadu Buhari administration would continue to actively pursue a plan for the massive manufacturing and production of goods in the country as much as possible.

He added that the Federal Government would rally with business interests who could facilitate the plan, adding “manufacturing in Nigeria is a primary objective of this government; it is a work we intend to do in the next few years to manufacture and produce in Nigeria as much as we can.”

He explained that it is because of the administration’s commitment to spur manufacturing and local production in the country that the initiative of Innoson Group to work with Chinese partners is being addressed as a “strategic collaboration.”

Innoson Group is collaborating with three Chinese firms: Shangdong Broadcasting Group, and Shangdong Cable Interactive Services, regarded as leading biggest TV operators, and Inspur Group, said to be China’s foremost leader in Cloud Computing solution suppliers and IT service provider.

Senior Special Assistant-Media and Publicity, in the Office of the Vice President, Mr Laolu Akande, in a statement in Abuja, quoted Chukwuma as saying earlier the Chinese firms have decided to invest about $1 billion in the Nigerian economy within the next 12-24 months.

The initiative, the VP said “is bound to yield very good fruits and do very well,” adding also that the timing is right “as we are at a point that we must engage technological solutions in our development plans.”

Professor Osinbajo then explained the importance of competition and competitive pricing in such an effort. “In all we try to do, we believe there must be competition, competitive prices and plans,” the Vice President noted, believing that the Chinese firms must have taken that into consideration as well.

Meanwhile, Chukwuma detailed the investments intended by the Chinese firms to include: “a credit facility of $300 million for local production and supply of 5-8 million Set-Top Boxes for the Digital Switch-Over in broadcasting in the country to meet a target date of June 2017.

“An investment of $100 million to establish technology-based Direct-To-Home Digital Bing Television Stations.

“A further investment of $600 million for Smart City CCTV camera and IT solutions for taxation, both using Cloud Computing, and E-Education IT solutions with big data centres in all federal universities and polytechnics in the country.”

According to the Chairman of Innoson Group, “every plan to make a success of all these projects have been concluded between our two parties.”

Responding, the Vice President stated: “We are looking forward to working with you in the next few months to realise the plans that you have laid out.”

The Deputy Minister of the Communist Party in Shandong Province and Chairman of the Shandong Broadcasting Group, Mr Liu Baoju, and Mr Huang Gang, Senior Vice President of Inspur Group, were among dignitaries in the business delegation at the meeting.