The Federal Government has said that confidence of investors in the Nigerian economy is growing by the day, insisting that the level of investment that has gone into the economy in the last couple of years is a demonstration of the level of confidence investors have in the economy.
The minister of industry, trade and investment Olusegun Aganga, speaking at the commissioning of a multi-million dollars Tempo Paper Pulp and Packaging facility, a subsidiary of Obasanjo Holdings Limited, in Ota, Ogun State, said that the country presently has commitment from local and foreign investors, including the Dangote Group for $6 billion investment in petrochemical industry. He added that many automobile companies have expressed strong interest and readiness to come into the country to assemble vehicles.
He described the paper packaging facility as unique and the first of its kind in West Africa, noting that the investment was part of efforts by the government to reduce the importation of materials that could be produced locally.
Aganga hoped that the investment would save the country about half a billion naira that goes into importation of packaging products annually, stressing that Nigeria should be able to boost intra-African trade through the establishment of more of these and other companies.
Tempo Paper Pulp and Packaging Limited manufactures bi-axially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) film that caters for the flexible packaging requirements of various industries in Nigeria and beyond and, according to the Federal Government, the establishment of this company will not only add value to the country, but also create jobs for Nigerians.
Earlier in his welcome address, Seun Obasanjo, the managing director of the company, had revealed that the journey to the establishment of the company was a long one starting from egg tray production with reasonable success, nylon bags, paper carton to cement woven bags and completed with ordinary woven bags.
“We decided that we could venture into BOPP which is the next higher level in packaging industry, with encouragement and necessary financing. We have never been pioneer in all other aspects of packaging that we have embarked upon. Going into BOPP as a pioneer in Nigeria and only surpassed by South Africa and Egypt, was an article of faith, courage and belief in Nigeria”, he said.
He explained that they began with seeking 85 percent loan funding from Commerz Bank of Germany guaranteed by the Zenith Bank of Nigeria which was fairly well settled without much hitch.
“We approached Guaranty Trust Bank for a $15 million loan to cover factory building, gas-powered generator of 5.5MW and working capital.
This was agreed. Before disbursement, the financial crisis set in and GTB backed out of the entire loan agreement, and only agreed to $5 million for the generator.”