UNIDO, FG to fast-track creation of industrial infrastructure
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI) have begun moves to fast-track the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and industrial parksin Nigeria, as part of efforts to diversify the nation’s economy.
UNIDO Representative to ECOWAS and Regional Director, Nigeria Regional Office Hub, Jean Bakole, confirmed the development in Abuja, at the weekend. Bakole said, “Following the launch of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) in April 2017, the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI) in collaboration with UNIDO, retreat examined the ERGP within the context of the mandate of the FMITI and the country’s industrialization roadmap as enshrined in the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP).
“Accordingly, there was a consensus on the need to develop industrial infrastructures such as industrial parks, Special Economic Zones as well as strengthen the Public Private Partnershipin order to strategically domesticate and fast track inclusive and sustainable industrial development in Nigeria. To achieve this objective, the FMITI requested UNIDO for assistance to organize a three-day study tour to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia from 21 to 24 June 2017.
“Since there is no need to reinvent the wheel, a major step UNIDO took in helping Nigeria to actualize industrial parks development is to identify countries in the world, especially within Africa, with best experiences in parks development process and learn from them.
“That was why FMITI and UNIDO collaborated to organize a three-day study tour to Hawassa Industrial Park (HIP) in Ethiopia. Ethiopia was selected because of the country’s recent economic performance and successes in industrial parks development in Africa. Also, the study tour of Ethiopia helped to reinforce on-going intra African cooperation for economic and structural transformation of the continent”.
Bakole noted that in demonstration of UNIDO’s commitment and support to the Nigerian Government towards the actualization of its vision of establishing SEZs in the country, the Organization had facilitated a three-day study tour for key officials of FMITI, its parastatals and the Presidency to exchange valuable information concerning Ethiopian’s recent experience and success story in industrial park establishment in order replicate the same thing in Nigeria.
While reaffirming his organization’s commitment towards supporting inclusive and sustainable industrialization in Nigeria, the UNIDO Representative explained that the study tour, which was attended by Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, and Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, Dr. Adeyemi Dipeolu, had enabled the Nigerian government to gain valuable insight on best practices for the revitalization and creation of SEZs as well strategies to fast-track and achieve the development of Industrial Parks.
Bakole said, “The objective of the study tour was to observe best practices for the creation of Special Economic zones program; provide understanding on the need for high level leadership, policy consistency, implementation strategy and interagency coordination in the development of SEZ; understand the need for a sound legal and regulatory framework supported by strong and effective organizational structures among others.”