By Gabriel Ewepu
ABUJA- THE Bank of Industry, BoI, yesterday, emphasised the need for the government to establish industrial parks in the six geopolitical zones in order to stimulate growth and development of Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs.
Acting Managing Director, BoI, Waheed Olagunju, while presenting his paper titled, ‘Developing appropriate financial framework for rapid Industrialisation of the states : The Industrial and Development Banks perspective’, at the just concluded Summit on Industrialisation in the States, said the states in Nigeria need policy stability as responsibility for industrialisation and attraction of investors.
He said: “It is possible to industrialise whole of Nigeria but it cannot happen without the promoters, who include the government, international development partners, international community, and community based organisation. And also States have the responsibility to promote entrepreneurs.
“The Nigerian economy is viable from all indications because the international community believes in it, and it is important that state governors provide the enabling environment for investors to establish their businesses.
“Industrial parks can be established in the six geopolitical of the country. In these parks infrastructures like electricity, road, water, security and others will be provided for the industries to thrive. This will stimulate the growth, development and performance of the Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs because they will key into the business opportunities in the parks and benefit from them.”
“The regional leaders like late Ahmadu Bello, Obafemi Awolowo and Nmadi Azikwe, mobilised and were personally involved in wooing investors to their regions and the industries were established and jobs were created for the people, which made the regional economies to boom. The States need policy stability as their responsibility for industrialisation.”
He also maintained that finance has not been the problem for industrialisation of the states in Nigeria rather viable enterprises, and the states have to come up with economic plans that will create the atmosphere for these enterprises to come on board.
“Finance is important but not the real issue rather is viable enterprises, and on capital we need suitable long term finance in Nigeria, because development financing is a long term approach to achieve industrialisation.
“The states can also approach the National Planning Commission for grants to support the implementation of their industrialisation policy. Money can come in different forms for industrialisation”, he added.
The BoI Boss urged state governments to embark on proper and in depth enlightenment of the people on comparative advantage of their products and also have constant communication on development policies and programmes with the people.