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UNIDO seeks $50m for Nigeria’s industrial programme

UNIDO seeks $50m for Nigeria’s industrial programme

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Ifeanyi Onuba

The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation has called on the Federal Government to scale up its level of funding support for its industrial country programme.

The UNIDO representative in Nigeria and Regional Director, Mr. Jean Bakole, said in an interview with our correspondent on the sidelines of the agency’s validation programme in Nigeria for 2018 to 2022.

The programme, which is the second intervention of UNIDO in Nigeria, is expected to gulp about $50m and will commence in July.

It was gathered that the first programme for UNIDO in Nigeria was worth about $30m covering the period 2013 to 2016.

It was extended to the end of June 2018 to ensure successful and impactful implementation of the programme.

Bakole explained that in the first country programme, the Federal Government provided $10m as funding support for its implementation.

When asked how he would describe the implementation of the first country programme, he said it was very successful.

He said, “There is no way we can sustain our economic growth without first industrialising in a sustainable manner. So UNIDO is enjoying this cooperation with the government of Nigeria because Nigeria is one of the countries in Africa contributing financially and providing the human capital to scale up the industry sector.

“For the last country programme, 2012 to 2016, we have received a contribution of around $10m from the Nigerian government and for this new country programme starting 2018 to 2022, which is a programme of provisional $50m, we are relying on the strong support of the government of Nigeria.”

Bankole also said, “As Nigeria shows a strong leadership in the sector, we are also addressing a message to our partners including bilateral partners, the financial institutions to support Nigeria to move ahead in the industrial sector.

“This sector will help to create more jobs for the country, the ECOWAS region and the continent. We think that Nigeria is going to play a very important role and that is why a number of sectors have been targeted by this country programme.”

He said UNIDO intervention in Nigeria was focused on developing policies and strengthening of regulatory frameworks, developing databases, enhancing ease of doing business in the country, building of infrastructure base such as special economic zones and industrial parks.

Others are tackling critical bottlenecks in the development of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises; developing value chains in agriculture and other economic sectors for diversification of the country’s financial base.

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