The Nigeria Export Promotion Council, NEPC says it has concluded arrangement to distribute locally fabricated machines to entrepreneurs in three cities to boost processing of agricultural commodities.
Mr David Adulugba, Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of NEPC said in Lagos that the aim was to enhance availability of locally processed agricultural products at the international market.
According to him, the local fabrication workshop being planned by the export promotion agency will begin in Ilorin, Ibadan and Nnewi cities for now. He said that the selected cities had shown potential for medium-scale industrial manufacturing and commercial activities.
“Nnewi, particularly is styled “the Taiwan of Nigeria” because of its prowess in modest manufactured products. It is believed that with encouragement and the required guidance from the authorities, it can improve the quality of its outputs and better organise the channel of its trade.
“Before now, it has been argued that one of the potent ways of opening up Nigeria’s industrial potential is by exploring the option provided by industrial clusters. “The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has been clamouring for the promotion of industrial clusters in the country. The recent move by the NEPC has many advantages. First, it will trigger real industrialisation in the country, beginning from the pilot cities.
“Also, it will help entrepreneurs in the fabrication business to find markets for their outputs, secure business partners and even attract funding on friendly terms for their operations,” he said.
Adulugba said that the initiative was in line with the Federal Government’s vision of employment generation. “It’s a known fact all over the world that SMEs are the engine of growth of any economy and we are ready to assist the sector,” he said. He said that the initiative had become imperative in view of the United Nations’ forecast of food scarcity in 2011.
According to him, the council wants to be very proactive in ensuring that Nigerian products are processed properly for local consumption and export. Adulugba said that the machines would be distributed freely to prospective entrepreneurs.
He said that NEPC had been showcasing Nigerian products to the rest of the world, thereby attracting business patronage and boosting the quality of locally manufactured products.
Adulugba said that the initiative would also encourage Nigerians to return to productive agriculture as it would facilitate value addition to food production.