…As it seeks to amend the National Center for Women Development Act, to rename the center after Maryam Babangida

By Henry Umoru

MOVE by the Senate to establish the Nigerian Industrial Development Authority, got a boost yesterday as a bill to that effect scaled second reading.

A Bill for an Act to Establish the Nigeria Industrial Development Authority and other matters connected therewith, 2022 (SB. 1050) is sponsored by Senator Sani Musa, All Progressives Congress, APC, Niger East.

After the bill was read the second time, it was subsequently referred to the Senate Committee on Industry for further legislative action. 

In his lead debate on the general principles of the bill, Senator Musa who explained that  the proposed legislation would help to diversify the economy, and address the fundamental infrastructural impediments hindering production activities in the country, said that  the bill  would also move the country beyond selling raw materials to a more value added processing and manufacturing one, create jobs, generate wealth, boost export and broaden the tax base. 

Musa  said, “Since the early sixties, abundant oil and gas resources have brought billions of dollars into the coffers of the country leading to a neglect of other sectors which traditionally provided employment for about 40 percent of the population and a nascent manufacturing industry. 

“Revenues from oil have hampered efforts to diversify the economy, leading to economic stagnation and recently economic recession which has brought about all this legislation.”

According to him, the bill, as part of its  objectives, would “accelerate the build-up of industrial capacity within Nigeria; increase manufacturing contribution to Nigeria’s Gross Product; drive the process of intense industrialisation based on sectors where Nigeria has comparative and competitive advantages.”

He said that the Bill when  passed and signed into law would “facilitate job and wealth creation, provide for economic and revenue diversification, ensure import substitution and export diversification and broaden government’s tax base.” 

Musa who described the bill as one of the most ambitious legislation that puts together a comprehensive industrial plan to diversify the economy, achieve industrial growth and reduce poverty, said, “This bill will address the age-old constraints that have persistently limited manufacturing. If enacted into law, it will build up industrial infrastructure,  prioritize power for industrial use, reduce borrowing and mobilize funding the real sector. 

“It will also facilitate youth training in industrial skills ,improve our investment climate, raise productive standards, link innovation to industry and enhance local patronage of made in Nigeria goods.”

Also yesterday, a  bill to amend the National Center For Women Development Act, to rename the center after Maryam Babangida, the late wife of former military President,  General  Ibrahim Babangida (rtd) scaled second reading. 

The bill was sponsored by Senator Betty Apiafi, PDP,  Rivers West.

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