The Federal Government will support foreign investors who are ready to invest in Nigeria, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo assured.
Adebayo gave the assurance on Thursday while inspecting the steel plant, being built by African Industries Group (AIG) in Jere, Kagarko Local Government of Kaduna State.
The Minister said the completion of the new $600million steel plant would help lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.
“From what I have seen so far, I must say that I am very impressed, I am happy that this is the sort of investment that we at the government like to see, I am happy with the number of people that will be employed.
“As you are all aware, the wish and desire of President Muhammadu Buhari is to lift 100million people out of poverty over the next 10 years and these are the kinds of things that will assist in that regard. When people get employment, they get paid salaries and they are able to help their dependants. This project will go a long way in that regard.
“We as a government are desirous and willing to assist all serious industrialists. All the people that are serious about investing in Nigeria, we are here for them.
The Group Managing Director, AIG, Alok Gupta, disclosed that the steel plant would provide jobs for 3,000 Nigerians and also bring in significant savings in foreign exchange by import substitution
“Most importantly we will be employing over 3,000 people and benefit the lives of many more. Our $600 million investment will be the largest non-oil FDI in the country and should encourage other mining industries to explore similar projects in the future.
“The project will also bring in significant savings in foreign exchange by import substitution and also add to foreign exchange reserves when our mining project starts to export Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) to other West African countries. Already our group manufacturing companies in Nigeria have been exporting steel and chemical products to various countries within the ECOWAS region.
“There will be significant economic and industrial development in the area by means of creation of several allied industries and social infrastructure.”
Gupta, who said AIG currently employs 8,000 workers, said the company has 18 manufacturing plants in the country.
“We expect to commission the Phase I of the project by end December 2020,” he added.