By Sampson Unamka
Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah, has described the 200million capacity sim card production plant of Secure ID Limited in Lagos as a demonstration of Federal Government’s economic diversification and backward integration initiative.
He made the assertion while commissioning the SIM card plant plant which was set up with financial support from the Bank of Industry (BoI) to drive local export in the telecoms sector.
Enelamah who described the facility as of world class standard, reiterated government’s commitment to deepen partnership with the private sector to realise its goals in all aspects of diversification, job creation and industrialisation. He expressed confidence in the entrepreneurial spirit of Nigerians, noting that with conducive business atmosphere and necessary financial support Nigerian entrepreneurs can reveal their prowess.
“One of the things we need to get right is the whole area enabling environment. Creating the right investment climate, ease of doing business for private sector for Nigerian businesses to prosper.
“We are very committed in the area of financing. I want to acknowledge the BoI for their support for Secure ID and many other players and they have our full support to actually assist the industrialisation of Nigeria. We will be backing the likes of BoI and even the development bank that is coming up, “he said.
Unveiling the SecureID SIMCard brand, Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, said efforts within the telecoms sphere would be garnered to ensure the home-grown company thrives.
He charged telecoms players such as MTN, Glo, Airtel, and Etisalat among others to encourage local production by engaging the firm to produce their SIM cards.
“I believe we must not limit it to Nigeria;we must also spread to other countries,” he said.
Acting Managing Director, BoI, Waheed Olagunju, who applauded the investment decision, said the venture was supported based on its potential to positively impact domestic consumption, aid technology transfer and adduce employment opportunities in the sector.
“When we support projects, we do not only look at the financial viability of such projects. We look at the potential development impact and multiplier effect. The facility we have commissioned today is the first of its kind in Africa for the production of SIM cards that are hitherto imported. There is also in country technology and know-how that would be transferred in the process.”
Also speaking, the Chief Executive, Secure ID, Kofo Akinkugbe, said the feat was achieved despite the difficulties stifling the establishment of manufacturing lines in the country.
She commended the development efforts and advisory backing of the Bank of Industry which was key to achieving the feat.
She hinted that Secure ID currently holds a global endorsement to service the huge network of SIMcard users across 19 African countries.