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Stakeholders call for early \release of intervention funds

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Commissioners of Commerce and In dustry in the 36 states of the federation have called on the Federal Government to ensure the early release of all intervention funds to resuscitate ailing industries.

The call is contained in a communiquéé issued at the end of a one-day interactive meeting between the Minister of Commerce and Industry, Chief Achike Udenwa and the commissioners held in Abuja.

A statement  signed by the Assistant Director, Press, Mr Udo Akpan said the meeting applauded the ailing industry initiative of the Federal Government and called for the early release of the various intervention funds.

The communiquéé urged the state governors to take a cue from the Federal Government to privatise dormant but viable industries within their domain.
It noted the major impediments to profitable business operations and robust manufacturing sector in Nigeria, saying the adoption of the New Industrial Development Strategy, the Cluster Concept, was the bedrock of industrial transformation of the country.

It commended the Ministry of Commerce and Industry for its facilitating roles in the establishment of Enterprise Zones and urged the states to buy into the project to ensure successful implementation of the scheme.

On the establishment of regional and trans-national border markets, participants agreed that the roles of the three levels of governments as well as the private sector should be clearly defined.

It said that the Federal Government should construct warehouses, provide basic infrastructure, Customs and Immigration Services and jointly manage the trans-national market with neighbouring countries.

The private sector, on its part should provide banking, bureau de-change, insurance, hotel and transport services, it said. In order to take full advantage of the Free Trade Zones (FTZs) scheme, the meeting advised the states to take due cognisance of products which they had comparative and competitive advantage in setting up FTZs.

The communique, therefore, called for the rejuvenation of State Export Promotion Committees (SEPCs) to drive export of non-oil products. It also called on the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) to ensure that its zonal offices effectively interfaced with the relevant ministries and agencies in the states on export promotion activities.

It quoted the commissioners as commending  Udenwa for his initiative to refocus and reposition the ministry for the achievement of the 7-Point Agenda and  Vision 20:2020.

It noted the 3-Point Agenda, which focused on increasing industrial productivity, decreasing imports and increasing non-oil exports and called for the full support of the state governments to achieve these  objectives.

It expressed full support for the campaign for the patronage of Made-in-Nigeria products which, it noted, was expected to boost industrial production, resuscitate ailing industries, create jobs and save billions in foreign exchange. According to the statement, the military, police and other para-military agencies should buy their uniforms and other items from Nigerian companies. The meeting was held, among other things, to solicit the support of state commissioners of commerce and industry to encourage the political will to back up government’s policy initiative on the patronage of Made-in-Nigeria products.

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