By Simon Ateba/Washington DC
The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari would continue “to actively pursue a plan for the massive manufacturing and production of goods in the country as much as possible”, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said on Monday, even as companies fold up and many people are sacked by struggling companies unable to make money.
The naira has crashed since President Buhari and Mr. Osinbajo took over more than a year ago. Besides, millions of people have lost their jobs while businessmen have blamed President Buhari’s policies for the economic downturn.
But Mr. Buhari and Mr. Osinbajo as well as their supporters have said that the pain being experienced by Nigerians was just temporary as the long term goal would deliver better results.
[caption id="attachment_31456" align="aligncenter" width="948"] Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo SAN in a group photography with the management team of Innoson Group, Shandoug Broadcasting Group Ltd. & Shandoug Cable Interactive Service Ltd, during a courtesy visit in the Conference Room of the Office of the Vice President, State House Abuja Mon. 24Oct2016[/caption]
On Monday, Mr. Osinbajo spoke at the presidential villa during a meeting with a delegation from the Innoson Group and some Chinese business interests.
Those in attendance, said his spokesman Laolu Akande, included Shangdong Broadcasting Group.
The delegation was led by Chief Innocent Chukwuma, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Innoson Group.
Mr. Osinbajo told the Chinese that the Federal Government will ally with business interests who can facilitate the plan, adding that “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.”
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.
According to Chief Chukwuma, the Chinese firms have decided to invest about $1billion 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,” because Nigeria is “at a point that we must engage technological solutions in our development plans.”
“In all we try to do, we believe there must be competition, competitive prices and plans,” the Vice President noted.
Chief Chukwuma detailed the investments intended by the Chinese firms to include:
*a credit facility of $300m 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 $100m to establish technology-based Direct-To-Home Digital Bing Television Stations.
*a further investment of $600m for Smart City CCTV camera and IT solutions for taxation, both using Cloud Computing, and E-Education IT solutions with big data centers 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.”