By Dare Lawal
President Goodluck Jonathan has said that Nigeria will stop importing fuel by 2017.
He said this while inaugurating the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) Presidential Advisory Committee on Monday.
The president made his projection based on the 400,000bpd refinery being planned by Alhaji Aliko Dangote, who is investing $9 billion in the green-field project.
Jonathan launched the NIPR on February 11 this year, along with the National Enterprise Development Programme (NEDEP).
Both programmes were initiated by the Ministry of Trade and Investment aimed at launching the nation’s industrial revolution.
Jonathan said if China through its manufacturing and services sector could lift over 500 million people out of poverty, Nigeria can lift her less than 200 million people out of poverty with its own industrialisation plans.
The 25-man Presidential Committee, with majority from the private sector, is chaired by the Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr Olusegun Aganga. Dangote is the alternate chairman.
He said, “Last week, I held discussions with the Chinese Premier here in Abuja, and it is indeed impressive what that country has achieved industrialisation in recent memory. For a purely agrarian economy in 1978 with high unemployment, little wealth, technology was minimal, and in fact the manufacturing capacity was quiet small, China has effectively through its industrial and manufacturing sector becomes the largest economy in the world.”