By ANDREW OJIEZEL
AS part of its plan to remove bottle neck and affect smooth operations in the Nigerian industrial sector, the Federal Government has set up a Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council committee.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investments, Dr Okechukwu Enalamah, who made this known during a meeting with stakeholders in Lagos, said it was part of the Federal Government’s efforts to address issues affecting the economy generally, and industrialists particularly.
He said the administration was genuinely interested in making life better for Nigerians and did not want to engage in mere rhetoric, but implement policies which would bring these about.
According to him, the ministry was also exploring partnership opportunities with the private sector to make possible a harnessing of all available opportunities.
Enelamah who was joined at the event by some heads of parastatal under the ministry, called for contribution from the stakeholders so that the germane problems of the industrial sector would be tackled.
He said the current government was not a passive one but a government that is active in doing what it is supposed to do.
In his words: “we are most interested in solving problems that can be solved because if such roles are not played, the private sector would be affected. So, the private sector is waiting for a government that is proactive in solving problems for them”.
The Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Alhaji Aminu Aliyu Bisalla who earlier addressed the gathering said the federal government was attaching much importance in the sector in realization that without industrialization the country would not be able to sustain a realistic economic prosperity which would stimulate increased industrial capacity utilization that would lead to job and wealth creation.
He reiterated that the federal government would deepen the engagement with private sector operators and manufacturers, adding that the Ministry would soon roll out a Growth Plan for Industrialization and Investment in the country. ”Let us make a commitment to work with the government. We cannot afford to ignore the operators.
This is why we take this engagement very seriously”, Dr. Enelamah restated.
Similarly, the Acting Director General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Dr, Paul Angya said ”SON is a government service industry. We are developing capacities for conformity assessment of products. We will clean the environment of sub-standard products to enable our local industries to thrive.”
Likewise, the President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Dr. John Udemba Jacobs, in his remark at the occasion stated that the forum was timely in view of the challenges especially recent monetary summersaults which further increased the problems faced by the manufacturing sector.
He disclosed that MAN has been collaborating with the Raw Materials Development Council (RMDC) for the development of local raw materials for industrial use, adding that over-dependence on imported raw materials has been the bane of manufacturers over the years.
Also in his remark, the President, National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Chief Bassey Udom, said growing the economy is a task that must be done. He noted that the issues of job creation, employment generation, export promotion as well as industrial growth should not be handled with lip-service. He advised that the Federal Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment should hold similar interactive fora across the country, stating that ‘there is nothing Nigeria cannot do if we fix our economy.’’