The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Representative to ECOWAS and Regional Director, Nigeria Regional Office Hub, Jean Bakole, has affirmed the commitment of the Organisation and the European Union (EU) in promoting inclusive and sustainable economic and industrial development in Nigeria and the ECOWAS Sub-region.
Bakole affirmed this at the 7th EU-Nigeria Business Forum in Lagos, themed “Building Partnerships for Growth and Job Creation.”
In order to create more jobs for Nigeria’s growing population, the UNIDO Regional Director underscored the need for stronger alliances between local industries and their foreign counterparts.
He said, “There is an urgent need to intensify partnerships, alliances and cooperation between domestic industries on the one hand and foreign industries on the other hand. A strong domestic industrial base is a prerequisite for attracting foreign capital.
Foreign investors will normally base their decision to invest in a country on availability of a vibrant business environment where they can easily find domestic partners to work with.
“This underscores the need to deeply develop strategic plans that can contribute to the growth and development of domestic businesses in Nigeria. In this regard, building partnerships that can promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth and job creation is non-negotiable.”
On efforts of the agency to drive industrialisation, Bakole said: “As the specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development in developing countries and economies in transition for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability, UNIDO achieves its mandate by creating shared prosperity, advancing economic competitiveness, safeguarding the environment, and strengthening knowledge and institutions.
“Currently, UNIDO is implementing a National Quality Infrastructure Project (NQIP) in Nigeria for which the EU has graciously provided €12 million to support the implementation.
Within the framework of this project, UNIDO is providing support to Nigeria to develop a National Quality Policy and the conduit of excellence for zero-reject of Nigeria’s trade in commodities.
Also, as part of the EU-funded NQIP, we have built a National Metrology Institute in Enugu, in collaboration with the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON).
This is in addition to setting up the Nigeria National Accreditation Service (NiNAS).
“Also, we have raised consumers’ awareness on their rights to demand for quality in their consumption of goods and services.
In the same vein, we are working with the private sector to promote quality and build capacity for high quality manufacturing in Nigeria.
At the ECOWAS Sub-regional level, the EU is also funding the West Africa Competitiveness Programme, of which UNIDO is an implementing agency.”
Source: G Business