The minister of trade and investment, Dr Olusegun Aganga, has called for greater investment in the agricultural and solid minerals sectors of the economy, saying that dedicated policy implementation and consistency are needed for the successful execution of the nation’s Industrial Revolution Plan (IRP).
The minister, who said this at the FBN Capital’s 4th Annual Investor Conference held in Lagos, yesterday, also stressed that the country must diversify its economy to achieve the IRP.
He lamented that agriculture as a sector was still operating below its potential as the “nation’s land could grow just about any type of crop ranging from tomatoes to cotton. And we have 44 solid minerals that we can focus on,” he added. “It is achievable. All we need is consistency and implementation. We have already drafted plans in some areas and we have identified seven areas that can make this plan successful,” he noted.
On doing business in Nigeria, Aganga said though the World Bank ranked the country higher, the nation was still not where it should be. “That is not where I want us to be. By next year, I want us to rank higher. We are delighted that we have made progress but we should be far higher,” he said. He said the ease of starting business in Nigeria would be further improved as the ministry was working towards online registration of businesses.
Also speaking at the conference, the minister of communication technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson, said her ministry was working with other government agencies to move the ministry forward as the ICT sector is strategic, significant and important. “There are changes in the sector but nothing has reached critical mass. Voice has reached critical mass but there is still so much to do. We are making progress on internet penetration, that is reaching critical mass, but again, there is a ton of work to do,” she said.