Onne (Rivers) – The Federal Government on Friday said it had begun engaging stakeholders and investors to address the challenges of doing business in the country.
Dr Okechukwu Enelamah, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, told newsmen in Onne, Rivers, that the collaboration was aimed at actualising the Nigeria Industry Revolution Plan (NIRP).
The theme of the two-day retreat sponsored and organised by United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is “Addressing Unemployment and Poverty through Development of SMEs and Industrialization”.
Enelamah said that government was currently focused on addressing infrastructural deficiency, to create an enabling business environment for investors to operate and run businesses with ease.
“Everybody (investors) needs a friendly environment to run their business and so, government is committed to removing all the bottlenecks and roadblocks that stand in the way of investors.
“What this means is that with the support and approval of President Muhammadu Buhari, we are going to be working in an inter-ministerial way on this project to achieve ease of doing business.
“This project, which is being championed by the Ministry in partnership with state governments, will help the nation’s industrialisation bid.
“Government is discussing and engaging with the Chinese, Americans and other investors from all over the world towards implementing the Nigerian Industry Revolution Plan.”
Enelamah said that the Buhari-led Federal Government had the political will and commitment to improve the nation’s economy and image.
He said that government bid to industrialize the country explained why it was fighting corruption and insecurity, to promote good governance and attract investment.
The minister said that UNIDO was providing assistance by bringing experience, resources and goodwill from international markets, to make the nation’s industrialisation plan a reality.
“This retreat recognises the importance and strategic roles Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), development partners and other stakeholders have to play in implementing the NIRP.
“What we want to achieve is a game plan that would be synergetic across the various MDAs that would help us carry on with the implementation of NIRP.”
Enelamah said that government was also collaborating with stakeholders in the auto, petroleum (downstream), cement, sugar, palm oil/produce and cotton, textile and garment sectors, to diversify the nation’s economy.
In his speech, Mr Chuma Ezedinma, the Officer-in-charge of UNIDO Regional Office, said the organisation was committed to assisting the country to achieve its industrialisation bid.
He said that Nigeria, being the economic hub of the West African sub-region, needed all the assistance it could get to diversify its economy and take its rightful position in the comity of nations.
According to him, successful implementation of the NIRP will attract investments which will create millions of jobs for the people. (NAN)