The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo made this disclosure when he received in audience the management of Berger Paints Plc in his office.
The federal government of Nigeria has concluded plans to inaugurate a privately-built paint industry in Abuja worth N2 billion by 2020.
He explained that the fully-automated plant has adequate capacity for large volume production with added benefits of increasing local capacity, thereby reducing importation of finished products, strengthening the local market and the Naira as well as creating massive employment for the youths.
The plant will be operated by Berger Paints Plc a 100 per cent indigenous firm, which commenced operations in Nigeria in January 1959.
According to him, one of my mandates here, following my appointment by President Mohammadu Buhari, is to support private sector industrial growth. We are proud of what your management is doing, and we are ready to support you. I am not unaware of some of the challenges facing the paint industry in Nigeria, but we are working round the clock to address them.
He further said that the government is already looking at industrialisation and agricultural revolution to expand the economy, create jobs, and take 10 million Nigerians out of poverty.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman, Berger Paints, Abi Ayida, said the plant is in the final stage of factory acceptance testing for its full automation, which the contractors will handover in a few weeks’ time.
Ayida described the project, to be formally inaugurated by Adebayo in Q1 2020, as first of its kind in sub-Sahara Africa, and conforms to international standards.
He said: “The Company is on top of a major revolution in the paint industry, as it commissions a fully-automated water-based paint factory. We are only calling for improved access to forex for raw materials, which accounts for about 80 per cent of the industry’s inputs.’’
He also appealed to the government to consider the inclusion of paint raw materials among items on the priority list for forex access.