By Franklin Alli
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry said it has not abandoned the Clusters ConceptÂ introduced three years ago by the federal government.
A source close to the Ministry told VanguardÂ that the Ministry has not abandoned the Clusters concept but isÂ working together with the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and the Bank of Industry (BOI) to source funds for the development of the initiative.
â€œWe are still working on it. We want to diversify the economy and ensure that oil is not the main drive of our economy. We intend to start the cluster with a pilot project and get the private sector involved to run them as the present administration intends to reduce involvement of government agencies in commercial activities,â€ said the source.
According to him, the survey and designs when concluded would provide the baseline data for the effective implementation of the clusters programme.
The Ministryâ€™s working on a framework to establish model clusters using the available land and facilities in the four zonal Industrial Development Centres (IDCS) in Bauchi, Oshogbo, Owerri, and Zaria. The aim was to enable Government concentrate efforts and resources in creating conducive atmosphere for the private sector to thrive. It is envisaged that the proposed model clusters would serve as a successful examples for states, local Government Areas and Private sector Organization.
Meanwhile, it has been estimated that between be between N10 billion and N50 billion will be needed to establish an industrial clusters, while N60 billion to N150 billion will be required to set up an industrial parks with the following amenities: independent power plant unit of up to 50/100 MW, training support, internal road network and major roads links to highways, railway, water supply, etc.Also, the financial requirement for the setting up of an enterprises zone is put at between N2 billion and N5 billion depending on the size.