• Sunday, June 16, 2024
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Abia to partner UNIDO in industrial policy implementation

Otti’s footprints (III)

Abia State Government has expressed interest in partnering with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) in the development and implementation of its industrial policy.

Governor Alex Otti, made this known while hosting a delegation from UNIDO, who were on a working visit to the State.

Otti, hailed the organisation’s vast experience in crucial sectors, such as agriculture, renewable energy, small and medium enterprises (SME) support, and industrialisation policies, among others.

The Governor underscored UNIDO’s familiarity with the State’s needs and potentials and noted that the collaborative effort between the State Government and the organisation would drive industrial development of the State.

“Clearly UNIDO is vast, even more vast than my earlier understanding, because listening to you, from agriculture, through renewable energy to support for SMEs, industrialisation policy, including this one (Abia Industrial Policy) that I’m seeing for the first time, and issues around environment.

“UNIDO, seem to be everywhere, and I think I can only say that we are happy that you are here. You can take for granted that we will partner with you.

“It is interesting that this is not your first encounter with the State, so all that is required is for us to sit down and flesh out the details to know where we are in terms of the support for the shoe and garment industry and take it to the next level.

He emphasised that the State Government’s agenda is to boost Industrialisation, hence the establishment of the Abia Innovation and Industrial Park (AIIP) in Ukwa West LGA of the State.

“Today we have the Abia Innovation and Industrial Park and I believe this is a good time for you to come on board.

“Looking at the feasibility studies, the areas we are looking at, include the industrial park, petrochemical refinery, renewable energy, manufacturing and other areas of engagement,” Otti stated.

He advised for a follow-up meeting and directed his Principal Secretary and Chief Strategist Officer, to engage with UNIDO to consolidate and chart the way forward for collaboration.

Bankole Jean, country representative of UNIDO, who was represented, by Reuben Bamidele, national programme officer, UNIDO, noted that the organisation 2008 worked with the State Government for the establishment of the common facility centre for garment and finished leather clusters, in partnership with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), in Aba.

He said that UNIDO is a specialised agency of the United Nations that promotes industrialisation for poverty reduction, inclusive globalisation and developmental sustainability, noting that the organisation achieves its objectives by creating shared prosperity and working with member states and organisations by advancing economic competitiveness.

“We do these by creating shared prosperity and working with Member States and organisations, by advancing economic competitiveness, safeguarding the environment, strengthening knowledge and institutional advancement for countries.

“In Nigeria, we have the programme for country partnership (PCP) that binds UNIDO and the Government of Nigeria.

“The PCP has six departments; industrial governance, statistics and research; value chain development, particularly with agriculture and mining; special economic zones, industrial parks and industrial cluster development; the trade capacity building, MSMEs development, renewable energy and environment”, he stated.