Aganga tasks Nigeria, South Africa on economic growth


The Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, has urged Nigeria and South Africa to take advantage of the window of opportunities available in their economies to strengthen economic growth in the continent.

Aganga stated this at a dinner organised by the Nigeria Consulate in South Africa and co-hosted by Financial Times and Brand South Africa in Johannesburg on Thursday.

He emphasised that the two countries must not allow the opportunities to pass without being exploited by them for the benefit of their citizens and for the people in the continent.

“Nigeria and South Africa have the fastest economic growth in the continent. If Africa must take advantage of the current global economic meltdown to boost growth in the continent, then the two countries need to work together.

“The two countries have to complement each other in area of comparative advantage. There is no country that can develop its economy without industrialisation, South Africa is the leader in Africa in that area.

“But Nigeria has the advantage in area of market and raw material over many countries, Nigeria has the largest population in Africa, an investment in Nigeria is a gateway into the ECOWAs with about 300 million population, Nigeria is a market nobody can ignore, “the News Agency of Nigeria quoted Aganga as saying at the gathering.

He said that Nigeria is no longer interested in investors coming into the country to export raw material out of the country.

“What we want are investors setting up industry and manufacturing plants in the country, to help provide employment for our youths and ever growing population.

“Nigeria is discussing with South Africa on ways to collaborate in setting up automobile plants in Nigeria. There are opportunities in mining, not for exportation alone, but for mining of the mineral for processing and production,’’ Aganga said.

He said that there were untapped potentials in the agricultural sector, saying, “ Nigeria is blessed with 84 million of acre of land, where everything and anything can grow.

But the agriculture sector of our economy is not fully tapped.

“We want investors in the agriculture sector not only in the area of planting and harvesting of agriculture product, but also in area of food processing and storage, this is an area where South Africa can come in, because they are well ahead of other Africa countries in food processing and storage.

“There are also business opportunities in oil and gas, Nigeria is the largest producer of oil and gas in the continent and investment opportunities in that sector is open,” the minister stated.

He said Nigeria can also learn from South Africa in service and infrastructure development.



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