From Agaju Madugba, Katsina
THE Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Aisha Abubakar, on Wednesday disclosed that the Federal Government would ban the importation of six commodities by 2018.
Abubakar disclosed this at an interactive session with entrepreneurs and prospective investors participating in Katsina State Economic and Investment Summit in Katsina.
The Minister listed the commodities to include rice, wheat, sugar, cotton, tomato paste and processed meat.
She said Nigeria would also stop the importation of cotton and other commodities to ensure self-sufficiency and to boost the capacity of textiles and garment manufacturers locally.
The Minister stressed that the present administration was committed to the production of those commodities in Nigeria.
Abubakar said the country had no business importing the six commodities as they are abundant in Nigeria.
In his remarks, Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State called on prospective investors to come up with workable plans that could simplify the state’s investment process and eliminate bottlenecks.
Masari assured welders and fabricators of his administration’s readiness to provide land for the establishment of business clusters for them, adding that his government would continue to patronise made-in-Katsina goods, services and local contractors.
The governor said he had directed local contractors to purchase roofing sheets and paints from markets within Katsina State and that a large portion of land in Katsina had been allocated to the Federal Ministry of Communication for the establishment of a National Incubation Centre with eight vocational training centres being rehabilitated to empower youths to become self-reliant.
Meanwhile, the Bank of Industry (BoI) has said it will give N2 billion to Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs) in Katsina State under its Micro Development Fund.
The release of the money will, however, depend on when the state government pays its counterpart fund of N1 billion, based on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two parties.
Speaking in Katsina yesterday while commissioning its Katsina branch office, BoI Acting Managing Director, Waheed Olagunju, noted that the bank had spent about N11.4 billion to fund a total of 40 medium scale entrepreneurs from across the country.