Government pledges support for UNIDO programmes
The Federal Government has said that the new UNIDO Country Programme (2018-2022) would help Nigeria to achieve Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, stated this during the Partnership Round Table Meeting organized by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, and the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), at the weekend.
The high-level event was attended by the Governors of Abia and Kebbi states, members of the diplomatic community; representatives from various states of the federation; local and international finance institutions and the organized private sector.
Adebayo noted that the new UNIDO -Nigeria Country Programme aligned with the Federal Government’s current economic and industrialization priorities and agenda.
“We want to commend UNIDO for its sustained efforts in supporting Nigeria’s industrialization drive. The Federal Government of Nigeria recognizes UNIDO as a reliable partner which has continued to support the country’s efforts towards achieving inclusive and sustainable industrial development.
“The new UNIDO -Nigeria Country Programme, which comprises nine pragmatic areas, is in alignment with the Federal Government’s economic diversification and industrial development agenda. We believe that the full implementation of the new Country Programme will help Nigeria to achieve inclusive and sustainable Industrial Development”
Also speaking during the Partnership Roundtable, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba said the Federal Government would support the new five-year Country Partnership Programme of UNIDO
The Minister, who was represented by the Director, International Cooperation Department in the ministry, Mrs Elizabeth Egharevba, noted that partnership with UNIDO would complement government’s economic programmes aimed at diversifying the economy through industrialization.
He pledged government’s commitment to the Country Partnership Agreement signed with UNIDO and assured that government would do its best to fulfil its part of the agreement by contributing its counterpart fund.
“We are happy with UNIDO’s technical support to Nigeria towards achieving inclusive and sustainable industrial development. As a government, we will do our best provide the necessary support for UNIDO.”
In his introductory remarks, the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, United Nations System in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, stressed the importance of industrialization as a critical tool for poverty reduction, job creation, and economic prosperity.
Kalon said, “ The trajectory for inclusive and sustainable economic growth and development in Nigeria and Africa can only be possible with industrialization . UNIDO and other UN agencies are ready to support Nigeria achieve inclusive and sustainable industrial development as well as the Sustainable Development Goals“
In his keynote address, the UNIDO Representative to ECOWAS and Regional Director, Nigeria Hub Office, Jean Bakole, commended the Federal Government for its strong commitment and support to UNIDO’s activities in Nigeria.
He said that the new UNIDO-Nigeria Country Programme was designed in line with Federal Government’s economic and industrialization policies .
He said, “Nigeria is one of the countries that has provided a substantial part of its contribution to our country programme.”UNIDO’s last country programme was about $30m and Nigeria contributed about $10m.
“Nigeria is ready to contribute its counterpart funding to this new Country Programme . We want all of us, including our donors and partners, to assist the country industrialise it’s economy. We can’t stop migration without creating jobs for our people, we can’t create industrialisation without supporting MSME. We will work with all partners and no one will be left behind.”
The UNIDO – Nigeria Country programme which covers 2018-2022 was signed in November 2018. It has a budget of $60m and the Federal Government is expected to provide half of it as government counterpart contribution while UNIDO would work with the Government to mobilize the balance from other partners. The Country Programme was designed to address nine critical areas of Nigeria’s development.