LACK of infrastructure and competitiveness hinders industrialisation process in Africa, Mr Emmanuel Akinwunmi, the Principal Private Sector Specialist, African Development Bank (AfDB) has said.
Akinwunmi made this observation at the inauguration of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the Nigeria Industrialisation Summit, in Abuja.
The summit was organised by Madewell Garment Limited in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning and the AfDB.
He reiterated the bank’s commitment to continue to support initiatives on industrialisation through strategy, which involved agribusiness, special agricultural processing zone among others.
Akinwunmi lamented the high importation of textiles and garments in the country, adding that local production and patronage of the industry to revert the over dependency on foreign garments needed to be addressed.
“The AfDB is advocating that whatever you produce, you process and sell locally,’’ he said.
The Chairman of Madewell Garment Limited, Chief David Iweta, said the Nigeria Industrialisation Summit would unlock potential embedded in agro-agric.
He said the summit, scheduled to hold in Abuja, from November 23 to November 30, had as its objective to move 100 million Nigerians out of poverty by 2030.
Iweta said it would attract investors globally and position Nigeria for international capital inflow towards the development of the Special Agro Processing Zones initiative of the AfDB.
He explained that the summit being based on Nigeria’s Economic Growth and Sustainability Plan would dwell on “how to feed, cloth and house Nigeria’’, was designed as a solution to unemployment, poverty and insecurity.
According to him, the project which will have its pilot scheme in Delta state at Jesse Export Processing Zone and Anchor (JEPZA) is projected to engage 300, 000 workers in the development of garment and textiles projects.
“It will also look into massive housing development, transportation and logistics, development of livestock, goat diary, fishery, cow meat and hides processing, oil palm and banana plantation and 25,000 pig value chain project, among others,” he said.
He said that the project would equally train 20, 000 Information Communication and Technology (ICT) talents to drive the economy and industrialisation, while contract had been signed by two universities to actualise this.
The chairman added that market such as the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) were being targeted for export.
The committee was inaugurated by the Minister of State, Finance, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clement Agba, represented by the Director, Economic Growth Department of the ministry, Mr Aso Vakporaye.
The inaugurated committee comprises representatives from the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, AfDB, Madewell Group, Nigeria Export Promotion Council, Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority, among others.
While inaugurating the committee, the minister said the representatives of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) were chosen in consideration of the roles which they played in the past in line with development.
He advised that being very relevant to the proposed summit, they were expected to bring their expertise to bear to actualise its aim on national economic development.
The Summit Advisor, Amb. Joe Keshi, said members of the committee would work diligently to meet expectations and equally implement ideas of past achievers for national development.