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Expert chides FG over committing only N51.4m to industrial clusters, SEZs dev.

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Development expert, Dr. Ken Igboanugo has berated the federal government for committing as small as N51.4 million in the development of six Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and Industrial Clusters in the country, saying “The amount is too small to make any meaningful impact”.

He said “With that amount, all the efforts being put in the schemes will fade away with the projects ending up as white elephant programmes in a government that prides itself fighting corruption and deepening economic development.

Business Hilights recalls that the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, made this known at the 5th edition of the EU-Nigeria business forum in Abuja last week.

He said the Pre-development studies on the six pilot SEZs in Nigeria which would be built to world class standards will commence December, adding that, “Afreximbank and China Exim Bank have committed $1billion into the project.”

On the creation of an enabling environment to improve the Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria, he said “Work has commenced on setting up the structure to support the initiative adding that the supporting secretariat has been set up.

The office, he said is domiciled in the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC). While noting that knowledge experts and technical consultants to support the team have been constituted, Enelamah revealed further that “The Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan, NIRP, priorities are agribusiness and the agro-allied sector, auto-assembly and component manufacturing, sugar, food processing (tomato and fruit juice), textiles and garments, palm oil processing and leather and leather products”.

“These are the sectors where SMEs are operative. Specific programmes are being implemented at various stages,” he noted. He also said that the Nigerian trade policy practice on trade negotiations and agreements has been revamped and will be used as an engine for growth in the country.

“Nigeria shall henceforth use trade negotiations aggressively and ambitiously. Nigeria shall initiate and negotiate strategic free trade agreements (FTAs) with precise objectives, including explicit linkage of access to Nigerian market, for locating industrial investments in Nigeria connected to regional and global value chains”.


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