Saturday, May 18, 2013

Aganga, Where are the industries, jobs?


In Nigeria, one thing that thrives among our public office holders are bloated and bogus projections, often coming from those in charge of the nation's economy.

Before now, I used to be excited about these 'paper talks' but as a field reporter, I discovered that Nigerians are fed with official lies and plenty promises mouthily fulfilled.

Dr. Oluseguin Aganga, our Minister of Trade and Investment is fast making a career out of voodoo economic projection and spurious job promises.

Why won't Nigerians believe a minister with a degrees from Nigeria's premier University of Ibadan and the prestigious Oxford University in the United Kingdom.  Dr. Aganga parades an intimidating academic resume and his words are exalted and we put them back to him.

Aganga's claims is bolstered by an equally awesome international work experience; lived in Europe for many years , appointed Minister of Finance by then Acting President, Goodluck Jonathan, later nominated and subsequently confirmed as Minister of Trade and Investment amid protest from his supposed Lagos home state for not being eligible to occupy the State's slot because he is not an indigene.

He had promised at several fora in 2010 that more manufacturing industries would spring up across the country, and moribund companies would be put back on their feet before 2013. Where are they?

Aganga needs to shed more light on how many closed companies has been re-opened since he came on board as our Minister of Trade and Investment, I know Dunlop Plc and many others are still in comatose battling bank debts.

In July, 2012, Aganga was at his best when he proclaimed to a Refinery-thirsty nation that his Ministry has concluded plans with a US company called Vulcan Energy, and its local partner in Nigeria, Petroleum Refining and Strategic Reserve Limited, to construct six brand new modular refineries. In the MOU as announced by the minister, six modular refineries would be built with a capacity of 180,000 barrels per day and two of the refineries will be completed within one year all the cost of N697.5 billion ($4.5 billion). Where are the refineries ?

The Minister virtually unleashed a new album with the proclamation that the National Enterprise Development Programme, NEDEP will create 3.5 million jobs for unemployed Nigerian youths. Aganga, where are the jobs?

Another major stir  last year was when Aganga proclaimed by the strap of his boots that the Bank of Industry has created 1.3 million jobs. Shame was put to the claim days later when officials of the Bank denied such achievement.

In the spirit of transformation and national development, Mr Aganga must come out to tell Nigerians and indeed the world what he has been doing as our Minister of Trade and Investment.