The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Representative to ECOWAS and Regional Director, Nigeria Regional Office Hub, Mr.Jean Bakole, has said that the Organization would partner and support the Nigerian Government in the development of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.
Bakole stated this during the Management Retreat organized with UNIDO’s support for the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and its agencies, in Makurdi, Benue State, on Friday.
He said, “UNIDO is strongly committed to support the remarkable efforts of the government to increase the national productivity and achieve sustainable industrialization through value addition and sustainable diversification of productive activities for economic growth and poverty reduction.”
“We intend to intensify our activities in Nigeria as well as expand our scope into other sectors such as the mining and creative industries, Information Technology initiatives for Youth, digital technology, and others to concretely support the implementation of the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan in line with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan. Also, we will like to support and promote the activities of the Nigerian government in the Special Economic Zones establishment and management.”
While commending the Federal Government for its past and current support and partnership with UNIDO, Bakole added that the Organization would continue to support the country in building capacity for trade and promoting local and Foreign Direct Investments .
He said, “UNIDO is particularly grateful to the Government of Nigeria for her significant financial support to the Country Programme implementation in the country. Our mandate towards an Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development (ISID), Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 9 of the Agenda 2030: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation and the third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (IDDA-III) are well reflected in the above two strategic documents of the Government of Nigeria.
“We have taken note of the vision of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment which aims to create an enabling environment for industrialization, facilitate the development of both hard and soft infrastructure, promote proactively local and foreign direct investments and strengthen ties with strategic partners and international organizations to foster regional and international trade.”
He added, “In response to these developments, UNIDO has streamlined its activities and programmes in Nigeria to support this strategic vision. Some of these programmes include building the capacity to implement the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan, building trade capacity though the Nigerian Quality Infrastructure project and the setting up an Investment and Technology Promotion Office to complement the Ministry’s vision towards proactively promoting local and Foreign Direct Investments.”
In his remarks, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, said, “We are delighted that UNIDO has continued to support us in our efforts to diversify our economy and achieve Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development through the implementation of the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP).”
“There is an urgent need for the government to pull our economy out of recession and place it on the path of inclusive and sustainable industrial development .This Retreat organized with UNIDO’s support has provided us the opportunity to discuss how to successfully implement the ERGP, working together with all stakeholders and partners – including UNIDO – in the implementation of the Nigeria Economic Recovery and Growth Plan”