Federal Government has launched the first N300m Investment and Technology Promotion Office in Nigeria adding that the efforts was the collaboration of the United Nations International Development Organisation and the government of Nigeria.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah who described the development as timely, explained that the move would accelerate the industrial revolution mantra of the Buhari administration while supporting the diversification of the Nigerian economy.
Discussing the benefits of the ITPO to the country, the minister said it would attract beneficial and technologically based Foreign Direct Investments and Local Direct Investments into Nigeria, adding that the African continent stood to benefit from the Office as its services would be extended to 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 relevant Nigerian MDAs to enhance and drive efforts for attracting investment, acquiring and promoting access to technology, developing the small and medium scale enterprises 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, Bahrain, 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 spot for launching the lead ITPO office 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 of Nigeria as the country with 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 opportunities, especially in the non-oil sector of the economy.
According to her, the fact that the price of oil is falling in the international market has made it instructional for the country to urgently begin a rigorous development of its non-oil sector. This, she said, would save the Nigerian economy from collapsing.
While saying that UNIDO is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote sustainable investment and development, she explained that Nigeria had partnered with UNIDO to promote inclusive development by doing all that must be done to open the gates for credible foreign investors in the manufacturing and non-oil sectors of the economy. According to her, the ITPO office will be cited in Lagos because Lagos is more economically active than Abuja.
She said, “On the medium and long-term, the benefits are for the local entrepreneurs because they will be linked with entrepreneurs from other countries. ITPO is part of a network; so through the ITPO, Nigeria and the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, will be connected with Japan, Italy, Shanghai, Moscow and other republics in ITPO’s global chain.
“The project is funded by the government of Nigeria while UNIDO provided technical expertise and networks methodology.