- Plans to end sole dependence on oil
In collaboration with the United Nations International Developemnt Organisation (UNIDO), the Federal Government yesterday launched the first N300million Investment and Technology Promotion Office (ITPO) in Nigeria.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah who described the development as timely, said the move would accelerate the industrial revolution mantra of President Muhammadu Buhari administation while supporting the diversification of the economy.
Discussing the benefits of the ITPO to the country, he said it would attract technologically-based Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) and Local Direct Investments (LDIs) into the country, adding that the African continent stood to benefit from the Office as its services would be extended to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) member states.
‘’Nigeria has all it takes to drive and sustain the activities of the Office at home and abroad,” the minister said, adding that the country’s large market, natural resources, agricultural endowment and skilled labour would drive and sustain the activities of the ITPO.
He said the ITPO would collaborate with the relevant minsitries department and agencies (MDAs) to enhance and drive efforts for attracting investment, acquiring and promoting access to technology, developing small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) through capacity building and cluster development.
The Minister called for the establishment of a league between UNIDO ITPO Nigeria and existing ITPO networks in Italy, China, Baharain, Russia, Japan and South Korea.
The ITPO Coordinator at the Investment Promotion Division of UNIDO, Ms Lucia Cartini, said the choice of Nigeria as the host for the lead ITPO was a joint decision of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and member states of UNIDO, adding that it was based on the consideration that Nigeria has enormous ability to drive and sustain the project.
‘’Nigeria was chosen not only because Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa, but also because there is abundant human and material resources to feed the sustainability needs of the ITPO,” she said, adding that the country offered excellent opportuites, especially in the non-oil sector of the economy.
According to her, the ITPO office will be cited in Lagos because the city is more economically active than Abuja.