Tag Archives: ACTING PRESIDENT

Industrialisation: Doing it the Chinese way

Made in China’’ unarguably has become a dominant inscription on most products world over.

These products span across electronics, textile, pharmaceuticals, leather products, automobile, building materials, phones, accessories, military hardware, among others.

Available statistics indicate that that China has so far attracted over 139 trillion dollars in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

In Nigeria, the following interrogations have become imperative: how did China metamorphose from a struggling economy to a prodigious economic hub and melting point of production?

How come, China, with its mammoth population, produces enough to service local consumption and scoop billions of dollars from exports?

Why can’t Nigeria with its huge population and enormous human resources, be a focal point of manufacturing in Africa?

The answers are not far-fetched; aside the internal mechanism put in place and the determination of the Chinese people, its government attracted many foreign investors who built manufacturing plants in China.

China, with deliberate economic policies and political will, also attracted highly skilled investors whose expertise rubbed off on the Chinese people.

Regrettably currently, foreign investors in Nigeria are mainly portfolio investors and those that promote consumerism–building shopping malls where imported biscuits and confectionaries are sold.

Recently, Dr Zhou Pingjian, Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, said that 60 per cent of products made in China and exported to world market were made by foreign direct investors in China.

He spoke at a one-day Entrepreneurship Training on Sustainable Small Business at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Ibadan.

Pingjian also stated that most of the made in China goods exported to Nigeria were made by Nigerians in China.

He said China’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in I979 was zero, adding the FDI of China at the end of 2016 was 1.7 trillion dollars.

The Chinese Ambassador added that China had developed due to its focus on economic development since 1979 when it started economic recovery programme.

Pingjian said that for any country to breakthrough economically, government and political leadership must be ready to take a visionary leap in those sectors.

“China will always promote Chinese business class to invest in Nigeria because Nigeria has everything to achieve its economic growth,’’ he said.

Pingjian attributed the growth of China to the strong reforms carried out in the country and the commitment of the people of China.

He said China government has pledged 60 billion dollars to support China-African Cooperation projects for 2016 to 2018, saying about 40 billion dollars had been disbursed at the end of June.

“An example of such projects is the Lagos-Ibadan railway, which is contracted by CCECC and financed by China bank. The project is 1.3 billion dollars and part of the 60 billion dollars,” he said.

He commended Sunmonu for her foresight; charging participants to be ambitious, open minded, focused; and be ready to make sacrifices when starting businesses.

Sunmonu said that the programme was designed to teach the selected participants how to manage finances to ensure that businesses set up did not fail but successful.

She observed that nine out of every 10 businesses failed in the first five years of being set up; saying many people with entrepreneurial drive did not properly plan before business.

“Since the introduction of economic reforms in 1978, China’s economy has been one of the world’s fastest growing economies. Science and technology are considered vital to China’s economic and political goals with laudable investment in basic and applied scientific research and engineering,’’ she said.

A publication in Lexology highlights the key factors in attracting Foreign Investors (FIEs) to China.

According to the publication, Chinese policy on FIEs focuses on creating an equal playing field between foreign investors and domestic investors. In particular, the Chinese government will:

“Work towards a fairer environment for FIEs when they apply for permits/licences and participate in public bidding projects;

“ Offer FIEs greater chance to participate in formulating industrial standards;

“ Enhance intellectual property (IP) enforcement mechanism and have more international IP arbitration institutions to set up branches in China to better protect IP rights of foreign investors; and

“Explore diversified financing channels for FIEs, such as listing on the main board, secondary board, SME board or the new OTC market, and issuance of bonds by FIEs.

“As part of the reform on the registered capital system, any minimum capital requirements must be removed for FIEs as long as they are not specified by law or administrative regulations.

“The central government will grant greater autonomy to local governments on offering local incentives to attract foreign investment,’’ the publication said.

The publication said that FIEs in encouraged industries could continue to benefit from lower land use cost, which was set at 70 percent of the minimum land grant price.

It said that high-level foreign talents setting up hi-tech enterprises in China will, together with their families, be entitled to more preferential treatment in terms of residency status and visa policies.

Undoubtedly, many foreign firms such as TECNO, SANY and others from China, Germany and Russia have indicted interests in establishing manufacturing plants in Nigeria.

Sadly disappointingly, these seemingly laudable investments end up in papers and hardly come to fruition.

President Muhammadu Buhari recently reassured existing and prospective foreign investors that their investments in Nigeria were secured and would be fully protected.

Buhari gave the assurance at a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, on the sidelines of the sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in Nairobi.

Stakeholders hold that Nigeria needs to do more in creating an enabling environment for foreign investors as is done in China.

A policy analyst, Mr Charles Uguru, said that Nigeria had the market and access to the seas which were advantages.

“One of the things that attracted investors to China was cheap labour; Nigeria has a reasonable population and a huge percentage is unemployed.

“Gladly, the National Assembly and the Economic led by the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo have been promoting the ease of doing business in Nigeria.

“The vision of the National Assembly to is to create an environment where new bossiness can thrive; where foreign investors can comfortably put their money without fear of policy summersault.

“ But two things ought to addressed- stabilising the polity and as a matter of utmost urgency, addressing the problem of power.

“Industries cannot thrive where power is expensive; once power is stable, every other things fall in place,’’ he said.

He said that Nigeria should open inland container ports in all the regions in order to boost access to international markets.

Sharing similar sentiments, Sen. Stella Oduah said that the South eastern part of the country required a minimum of three container ports to boost the economic growth of the country.

Oduah said the ports were necessary because the Southeast region had become an industrial zone.

She said that because the Southeast was land locked, inland container ports would expose the region to international markets.

The senator added that if the ports were in place, the rate of road accidents as well as road degradation would be minimised.

“Southeast is a commercial region; what we do best is trading; what we do best is industrialisation; that is innate in us; for us to be able to enhance it and export products, we must have access to the global market.

“We already have an international airport; the second one will be to have a cargo export terminal which is why the inland cargo terminal is important.

“Unless we have that it means that for every cargo, every transaction, import or export will have to be through Port Harcourt or through Lagos.

“Without the inland ports it means that accident rate that had been reported all these years because of bad roads will continue to increase because a trader will either import or export his goods through Lagos or Port Harcourt.

Perceptive analysts opine that aside engaging Chinese firms for infrastructural projects, concerted efforts should be made to bring firms from China and others developed countries to build factories in Nigeria.

They say that local manufacturing should also be commensurately incentivised for Nigeria to achieve industrial growth and create wealth and employment.

NAN

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TWO NEW MINISTERS PORFOLIOS.

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has assigned portfolios to the two ministers recently sworn-in.

Stephen Ocheni from Kogi state is now the Minister of State for Labour while Suleman Hassan from Gwambe State is the Minister of state for Power, Works and Housing.

At the brief ceremony before the Federal Executive meeting, Professor Osinbajo also sworn in sworn in 15 new permanent secretaries in the federal civil service.

Commission Set up on Rights Violation

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has set up a judicial commission to review the Armed Forces’ compliance with human rights obligations.

Osinbajo took the action following concerns over alleged human rights violation by the Nigerian military.

A statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media Publicity to the Acting President, Mr Laolu Akande, said the commission is empowered to review extant rules of engagement applicable in the Nigerian Armed Forces, and the extent of compliance.

The seven-man commission is chaired by Justice Biobele A. Georgewill.

It is expected to commence work immediately and submit its report within 90 days.

Other members of the commission are Major-General Patrick Akem, Mr Wale Fapohunda, Mrs Hauwa Ibrahim; and Mr Jibrin Ibrahim.

Others are Mrs Ifeoma Nwakama and a Representative of the Office of the National Security Adviser.

 

ACTING PRESIDENT PROF. YEMI OSINBAJO APPOINTS NEW ICPC MEMBERS.

The Presidency has said it would probe two new members of the board of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission appointed by Acting President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

The two members are said to be undergoing investigations by the same commission.

Osinbajo, earlier in the week approved a new chairman and board members of the commission.

Reports emerged on the media on Friday that two of the board members are currently being investigated by the ICPC.

The Senior Special Assistant to the Acting President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, told reporters in Abuja that the allegation would be thoroughly investigated.

He said, These claims would be promptly investigated. The Presidency will surely do only what is right.

POLICE EQUITY, FAIRNESS, PROMOTION.

An NGO, has called on the Inspector-General of Police(IGP) Ibrahim Idris and the Police Service Commission to ensure impartiality in the ongoing promotion in the Nigeria police.

The group made the call during a joint news briefing in Abuja on Friday by Mr Olaseni Shalom and Mr Pelumi Olajengbesi, the Executive Director and the Executive Secretary of the organisation respectively.

Olajengbesi, appealed to the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, to ensure that there was transparency in the exercise, adding that it should be devoid of ethnicity, nepotism and political interests.

We know that people can be denied promotion from past wrong doings and queries but we are saying that anybody who has diligently served and is entitled to promotion should be promoted, he said.

Oh his part, Shalom said that it was the duty of the IGP to recommend policemen due for promotion to the Police Service Commission.

Shalom urged the commission and the Federal Government to ensure that no officer who deserved promotion was denied.

APC-LED PROMISES

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has assured Nigerians that the All Progressives Congress, APC-led Federal Government will surely deliver on its promises to Nigerians despite numerous challenges facing the economy and the country.

He spoke in Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi state, on Tuesday at the conclusion of a Federal Government- Progressives Governors’ Forum party.

Osinbajo urged state governors elected on the platform of the APC to make extra efforts to deliver on the promises made to Nigerians in 2015.

According to the Acting President, “the ideological difference that we represent is that we are committed to an economic policy that has at its core the welfare and happiness of Nigerians’’.

He said, “the people have not lost faith in us, they understand that the task of clearing decades of debris will take time but we must also jointly keep faith with them.

NAN/TSIDKENU