UNIDO to support Nigeria’s special economic zones, MSMEs

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’Femi Asu

The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation has said it will partner and support the Nigerian government in the development of special economic zones and Micro Small and Medium Enterprises in the country.

UNIDO Representative to the Economic Community of West African States and Regional Director, Nigeria Regional Office Hub, Mr. Jean Bakole, stated this during the management retreat organised with UNIDO’s support for the Ministry Of Industry, Trade and Investment and its agencies, in Makurdi, Benue State, on Friday.

He was quoted in a statement as saying, “UNIDO is strongly committed to support the remarkable efforts of the government to increase the national productivity and achieve sustainable industrialisation 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.”

While commending the Federal Government for its past and current support and partnership with UNIDO, Bakole said the organisation 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 its significant financial support to the country programme implementation in the country. Our  mandate towards an Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development, Sustainable Development Goal 9 of the Agenda 2030: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation and the third Industrial Development Decade for Africa 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 industrialisation, facilitate the development of both hard and soft infrastructure, promote proactively local and foreign direct investments and strengthen ties with strategic partners and international organisations to foster regional and international trade.”

Bakole said in response to the developments that UNIDO had streamlined its activities and programmes in Nigeria to support this strategic vision.

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