The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and Bank of Industry (BOI) agreed on Monday to fast-track the country’s development of the industrial sector in line with President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda.
The Country Representative of UNIDO, Mr. Patrick Kormawa said in Lagos after a stakeholders’ meeting that they would partner to assist the country to achieve its vision 20:2020 agenda.
Kormawa said that the aim was to boost wealth creation and job opportunities.
UNIDO and BOI had earlier signed an MoU in 1987 to develop the industrial sector in the country.
The UNIDO chief said that power was very crucial to the nation’s development and for its products to be competitive at the global market.
He said that UNIDO had concluded plans to set up two centres of excellence in the north and southwestern parts of Nigeria to promote the garment industry.
“Today’s meeting is not only to review the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), but also to expand areas of collaboration.
“This includes our activities in developing hydro power generation for industrial activities,” he said.
Kormawa noted that UNIDO was also working on small hydro, mini power plants in some states that were willing to promote industrialisation.
He said the partnership with BOI had also identified some small hydro power sites that could be developed for productive use.
According to him, UNIDO is also working in the agro business development sector with BOI.
“The partnership has come up with an initiative called the “Africa agribusiness and agro industry” which it launched early this year.
“This shows that we are moving forward with the partnership and the MoU.
“We are also looking at areas where we have succeeded and have also marked new areas for development to achieve Vision 20:2020 target,” he said.
He added that for the past four years, UNIDO and BOI had trained BOI staff; developed the cotton, garment and textile industry and proposed ways the industry could be fully revitalised.
He said UNIDO was also working with some states to produce renewable energy from rice husks to run machines in the rice processing clusters.
“This project is well advanced now. We are in the process of procuring the machines and once these machines are installed, power will be available for the rice processing clusters in the country,” he said.
Ms Evelyn Oputu , Managing Director, Bank of Industry said that the partnership which started with the signing of an MoU in 2008 had brought about some level of improvement in the industrial sector.
According to Oputu, this is why BOI is working tirelessly to make sure that the partnership with UNIDO achieves its objectives of reviving Nigeria’s industrial sector.
“With President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda, the challenges of industrialisation will soon become a thing of the past because no nation can survive without a vibrant industrial sector,” she said.
She reiterated that most of the schemes under the MoU had received a boost through access to funds, information and skill acquisition.
He noted that most of the textiles factories that had access to funds were already back on stream while some had placed orders for machines to begin operations.