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Ayade tasks FG on fuel subsidy, board eyes total local content

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Governor Ben Ayade has called on the Federal Government to end payment of fuel subsidy.

Speaking as chief host of the 2019 Africa Industrialisation Day (AID) organised by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment at the weekend in Calabar, the governor argued that the funds could be ploughed into industrialising the agricultural sector.

He said: “Such funds can be used in providing agricultural grants, subsidising agricultural and industrial revolution, subsidising people who are going into industrial projects that would create jobs for our people.”

He urged African nations to undertake the agro-industrial revolution to address underdevelopment, adding that the industrialisation of Africa had become urgent.

Ayade stated that the continent must ensure that the right steps were taken, as the “agro-industrial revolution is the first step to take. It is indeed, an only agro-industrial revolution that allows you to industrialise, revolutionise your economy and yet carry the people along because the essence of Industrialisation is to create social harmony.”

He added: “The problem with Africa is the extemporaneous excitement of attitude to catch up with the western world. In the process, we miss the strategic steps that are required for growth.”

The governor said it was against this background that his administration embarked on the agro-industrial revolution through value-chain addition to agricultural processes and “today we have the garment factory employing over 3000 people with women constituting 85 per cent of that workforce. We have a philosophy of going from farm to fabric. So our cotton farm in Yala Local Government Area in partnership with Arewa Textile is helping to create the raw materials that we require in order to have our own knitting and our own fabrics that can turn into garments. That is the agro-industrial revolution.”

On his part, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Richard Adebayo, said for African countries to successfully diversify their economies, they must embrace industrialisation by first ensuring power supply and good road networks to attract investors.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has said it is possible to achieve a 100 per local participation in the maritime sector through diligence.

The Executive Secretary, Simbi Wabote, made the declaration during a fact-finding tour of the Niger-Benue Transport Company Limited (NBTC) at Ovwian, Udu Local Council of Delta State. The firm was established in 1956.

He told journalists that the board had achieved 40 per cent Nigerians’ participation in the maritime industry and was in the process of raising the bar.

Wabote observed that achieving 100 per cent participation required manpower, innovative ideas, encouragement and the right government policies.

He commended the management of the NBTC for innovative strategies to sustain growth in the last six decades.


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