By Ossom Raphael
Abuja – The Federal Government and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), on Monday signed a $60 million new country programme for the country to cover industrial governance, research and statistics, and Micro Small and Medium Enterprises development programmes.
The new programme is to guide UNIDO’s programme and projects interventions in Nigeria for 2018 to 2022, build on the cumulative achievements of past Country Programme implemented by Nigeria/UNIDO; and to strengthen synergies by collaborating with other development partners, state and non-state actors, including the private sector.
Okechukwu Enelamah, the Minister, Industry, Trade and Investment signed on behalf of the Federal Government, while Li Yong, the Director-General, UNIDO signed for his organisation.
Second in the series of UNIDO’s support to Nigeria, is aligned to the priorities of the Federal Government as outlined in the Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan.
It covers industrial governance, research and statistics; Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise development; Special Economic Zones, Industrial Parks & Private sector development; innovation science and technology management.
Enelamah, who expressed gratitude of the Federal Government for UNIDO’s collaboration said the programme was designed to build on the achievements of the past Country Service Frameworks and Country Programme implemented by UNIDO.
He said other key areas covered are agro industry and agribusiness development; minerals and metals development; trade capacity building; renewable energy development; and environmental management programme, noting that UNIDO was encouraged by the success of the first Country Programme which paved way for the new programme.
Earlier, the UNIDO envoy, Li Yong described the current cooperation between Nigeria and UNIDO to be very timely, because of the emphasis on economic diversification strongly pursued by this administration, the new Country Programme will build resilient infrastructures, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, foster innovation and make Nigeria a manufacturing hub in Africa.
According to Young, “our new projects support the development of agribusiness and agroindustry, renewable energy, particularly small hydro power and biomass, cotton, textiles and garments and national infrastructures”.
He highlighted the nine components of the new programme to be: Industrial governance, research and statistics, agroindustry and agribusiness development, minerals and metals development, trade capacity building.
Others includes micro, small and medium enterprise development, Special Economic Zones (SEZs), Industrial Parks and Private Sector Development, Innovation, science and technology management, sustainable energy development and environmental management.