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Nigeria advances industrialisation plan… to establish regional economic parks

The Federal Government has expressed plans to establish
industrial parks across Nigeria’s six geo-political zones, as an initiative of
the National Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP).

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment,
Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, disclosed this on Friday at a two-day retreat for the
ministry, themed “Addressing unemployment and poverty through the development
of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises.

The retreat which was organised by the United
Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) held at the Free Trade
Zone, Onne in Rivers State.

The minister said the plan would be to concentrate the few
available infrastructural facilities within the industrial zones and regions to
be created, to enable it have the required spread, without expending additional
huge financial resources.

He said some foreign investors from the United States
of America and China had expressed interest in investing in the proposed
regional economic parks planned to boost the nation’s industrialisation, to
develop and grow the non-oil sector.

The minister said that on one of the visits with President
Muhammadu Buhari’s to the Republic of China, he got proposals from some Chinese
investors who indicated interest in investing in the proposed industrial parks
in Nigeria.

He said that beside the Chinese, he had also
received calls from some businessmen in the United States of America, for
proposed meetings with the President, to hold talks on their investment

From the minister’s discussions, most of the
investors are interested in setting up Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) which
experts believe would help in diversifying the nation’s export base, and moving
away from the current mono-product economy with the attendant over-dependence
on crude oil exports.

The minister however urged the ministry officials
to embrace improved manner of doing things and live up to the demands of
enhancing ideal business environment in the country, as a way of attracting
genuine investors.

He pledged government’s commitment toward
ensuring the welfare and well-being of the workforce, which he noted as the best
way to enhancing customer satisfaction through quality service delivery.

On the role of the Presidency in bringing these initiatives
to pass, Enelamah stated that President Buhari has the political will to
transform the nation’s economy, a factor which was lacking in previous

He called on other development partners to join
hands with the Federal Government toward its genuine commitment to develop and
industrialise the Nigeria’s economy.

The retreat had in attendance, heads and
management staff of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Nigeria
Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC),
Bank of Industry (BOI), and the National Automotive Design and Development Council
(NADDC) among others.

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