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Don’t interfere with parastatals’ operations, FG warns board members

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Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja

The Federal Government on Thursday inaugurated the boards of 14 parastatals and agencies under the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.

The inauguration was done by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah.

The agencies whose boards were inaugurated included the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Corporate Affairs Commission, Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission, Standards Organisation of Nigeria and the National Sugar Development Council.

Others are the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, Industrial Training Fund, Nigeria Export Processing Zone Authority, National Automotive Design and Development Council, Lagos International Trade Fair Management Board, and the Nigeria Commodity Exchange.

Also inaugurated were the boards of the Tafawa Balewa Square Management Board, Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone Authority and the Consumer Protection Council.

Enelamah told the board members to see their appointments as a call to national service, adding that the ministry was critical to the implementation of the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.

He warned them against interfering in the day-to-day operations of their respective agencies, adding that the task should be left to the chief executives of the parastatals alone.

The minister urged them to come up with innovative policies that would support the mandate of the ministry in achieving diversification of the economy, inclusive growth, attraction of investments and supporting small businesses.

He said as critical organs for achieving the mandate of the ministry, there was a need for the boards to tailor the policies of their respective agencies to the objectives of the National Industrial Revolution Plan.

Enelamah added that the role of the boards was crucial to the success of the ministry, noting that they must come up with policy guidelines that would ensure the efficient management of resources.

Responding on behalf of the board members, the Chairman, Board of the NSDC, Bolaji Abdulahi, said that with the kind of people selected by the government, the country would soon see improvements in key sectors of the economy.

Abdulahi, who is also the spokesperson of the All Progressive Congress, said the promises that the party made to Nigerians when it won the 2015 general elections were being fulfilled.

He stated that it was untrue that the party had deceived Nigerians through propaganda, adding that the APC was fully committed to the well-being of the people.

He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for making the appointments, stating that for the past three years, many of those that worked for the party to ensure its victory at the elections were worried that they might not be given any meaningful assignment.

Abdulahi said the members of the boards would bring their political and technical skills to bare to ensure that the parastatals they were appointed to govern achieved their mandates.

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