Tony Ailemen ,Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday revealed that he has ordered immediate interventions for local industries to boost employment. This was contained in a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity Mr Femi Adesina, after the President met with some foreign investors at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Although the President did not give details of the intervention package made to assist the local industries regain capacity utilization, the President said he gave directives for the intervention after meeting with officials of the Ministry of Agriculture.
The intervention, he said is part of plans to reduce unemployment in the country, his administration will give full attention to the rapid revival of ailing and moribund textiles, mining and agro-based industries. President Buhari declared that the creation of more jobs for Nigeria’s unemployed youth was the key objective of his administration’s economic agenda and will be pursued with the greatest possible dedication.
“I still recall with clarity that at some point, the textile industry in Nigeria was employing about 320,000 Nigerians. But today, the same industry employs less than 30,000 people and the factories operate below capacity or they are completely closed. “Now that we are trying to create jobs, we cannot allow industries and factories to close down. Instead, we should be making every effort to ensure that we reopen the closed ones and attract new ones to reduce unemployment,” President Buhari told the investors who are the proprietors of Olam Farms Nigeria Limited.
The President assured the delegation, which was led by Mr. Mukul Mathur, that his administration will encourage investments in agriculture and other sectors of the economy by creating a more favourable environment and enabling laws.
President Buhari said that he had already ordered some immediate interventions to address current challenges faced by industrialists in the country after receiving briefings from the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Industries, Trade and Investment.
Mr. Mathur told the President that Olam Group of Companies was established in Nigeria in 1989, and currently employs about half a million Nigerians, directly and indirectly. He added, however, that the group was facing difficulties with the reversal of some government policies in 2010 and 2013, which could lead to the closure of some of its industries in the country