By Franklin Alli
NIGERIA’s $34 million worth of investment is said to be the largest portfolio of United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, UNIDO, projects in Africa. This is even as the Federal Government has welcomed the new UNIDO Representative to ECOWAS and Regional Director, Nigeria Regional Office Hub, Mr. Jean Bakole, to Nigeria.
Vanguard learnt that UNIDO projects in Nigeria cut across critical economic sectors like industry/manufacturing; agri-business, renewable energy, environment and are aimed at supporting the Government of Nigeria in diversifying its oil dependent economy. These projects are currently being implemented within the framework of the Country Programme (CP), which began in 2013.
Speaking on behalf of the Nigerian Government in Abuja, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Geoffrey Onyeama, said strengthening partnership with UNIDO as the lead agency of the United Nations responsible for supporting Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development would help Nigeria to achieve economic diversification, reduce poverty and eliminate unemployment.
“UNIDO is one of Nigeria’s important and strategic partners, especially as the lead United Nations Agency with the specific mandate and focus to promote and support Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development. Given the existing excellent relationship between Nigeria and UNIDO, we want to assure Mr. Jean Bakole of our continued support and cooperation, and also reaffirm our commitment towards supporting and strengthening our partnership with UNIDO”, said Mr. Onyeama.
In his remarks, Bakole thanked the government of Nigeria for its continued support and partnership with UNIDO and reaffirmed the organization’s commitment towards supporting the country to achieve Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development in line with UNIDO’s mandate.