By Ugochukwu Alaribe, Umuahia
United Nations Industrial Development Organization UNIDO is partnering Abia State Government for the development of industrial policy and strategy, a framework that will serve as a guide for the industrial development of Abia.
Speaking during the public presentation and hearing of the industrial policy draft document in Umuahia, Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu said the programme was important as the government would not want to strike out a policy trust statement and pass it on to people without their input.
Ikpeazu, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Chris Ezem stated that the aim of the public presentation of the draft document was for the government to have the understanding and input of everybody from the industrial community to the document which will form the industrial policy thrust of Abia State.
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Ikpeazu disclosed that he had given a marching order to the Commissioner for Agriculture to do everything to shore up the state’s stake with respect to her investment in the area of agriculture, adding that since the crude oil market is not doing well presently, the alternative is the agric business.
He thanked those that joined hands with the Ministry of Industry and UNIDO to produce the draft document which he said would go a long way in charting the state’s industrial road map.
UNIDO National Programme Officer, Dr Reuben Bamidele, said the place of his organization in the project was in the area of providing technical assistance to the government of Abia State to be able to craft a viable industrial policy to drive the industrialization agenda of the state.
Bamidele said UNIDO had assisted the state government with the technical capacity in terms of providing consultants who worked with the state government, industry stakeholders in Abia State and across the country to be able to come up with the draft that was presented at the validation workshop today.
Presenting the draft document titled, “Abia State Industrial Policy and Strategy”, Prof Fidelis Ogwumike and Dr Uchechukwu Ozughalu said the industrial policy identified the strengths, weaknesses; opportunities and threats (SWOT) of Abia State, premised on its analysis.
“The policy thrust of enhancing the manufacturing capacity of the state through leather and garments industry, for instance, is for government to put in place all that will strengthen the shoe and allied products and garments sector.”