Reps move to accelerate Nigeria’s industrial revolution
NIGERIA may soon witness an industrial revolution, as the House of Representatives has started debate on the general principles of a proposed legislation which, when passed, would accelerate the build-up of the country’s industrial capacity.
The chamber, last Thursday passed for the third reading “a bill for an act to provide for the rapid build-up of industrial capacity in Nigeria, and to promote competitiveness of Nigeria’s manufactured goods and products and for other matters related thereto,” which was sponsored by Stella Oluwarotimi Ayamara Dorgu.
Giving insight into the bill, Dorgu told parliament that the industrial revolution plan plays both strategic and catalytic roles in economic development in respect of employment creation, GDP generation and economic linkages, which serve as veritable platforms for small, medium and micro-enterprises development, innovation, skills and technology development.
According to her, the proposed legislation seeks to establish a legal and institutional framework for the implementation of the Federal Government’s Industrial Revolution Plan and the National Enterprise Development Programme, to provide for their implementation, continuity and sustainability.
“It seeks to ensure ownership of the processes, plans activities of the industrial plan and the programme by relevant ministries, departments and agencies of government for the overall realisation and delivery of the industrial plan and programmes,” she explained.
“The act involves participation by states of the federation in the industrial plan and has taken due cognizance of the concurrent nature of the responsibility for industrialisation between the federal and state governments under the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
“The act also offers assistance to states to encourage them to adopt similar legislation in carrying out the industrial plan and the programme.”
Dorgu noted that the main objectives of the industrial plan are to increase manufacturing contribution to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP), as well as drive the process of intense industrialisation based on sectors where Nigeria has comparative and competitive advantages.
She further noted that the bill would, among others, facilitate job and wealth creation, provide for economic and revenue diversification, ensure import substitution and export diversification and broaden government’s tax base.
On the scope of application, she said “the industrial plan shall be implemented throughout the federation based on industry groups where Nigeria possesses clear comparative and competitive advantages to commence the process of rapid industrialisation.
“These groups include agribusiness and Agbo allied, solid minerals and metals, oil and gas-related industry, and construction, light manufacturing and services.”
It will further “support the attainment of rapid industrialisation under the industrial plan, as government shall take steps to intervene in broader areas hindering competitiveness of the entire industrial sector by:
• Encouraging national innovation system to enhance competitiveness and building of a three-way partnership structure among the academia, public and private sector to create a knowledge network and promote key technologies required by industries, in addition to strengthening institutions that promote technology transfer, innovation and entrepreneurship;
• Improving the investment climate in Nigeria and undertaking reviews of laws and regulations hindering investments and strengthening the institutional framework for enforcement of contracts and judgment of courts, and
• Putting in place appropriate mechanism to encourage the consumption and utilisation of domestic products and strengthening consumer and environmental protection agencies to carry out their functions affectively.”
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