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 interest.

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 administrations.

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.