Abia State Governor, Dr. Alex Otti, OFR, says Abia would partner with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in the development and implementation of its industrial policy.

Governor Otti, who stated this at a recent meeting with a delegation from UNIDO, hailed the organisation’s vast experience in crucial sectors such as agriculture, renewable energy, SME support, and industrialisation policies, among others.

The Governor underscored UNIDO’s familiarity with the state’s needs and potentials and noted that the collaborative effort between the state government and the organisation would drive industrial development of the state.

“Clearly UNIDO is very vast, even more vast than my earlier understanding, because listening to you, from agriculture through renewable energy to support for SMEs, industrialisation policy, including this one (Abia Industrial Policy) that I’m seeing for the first time, and issues around environment.

“You (UNIDO) seem to be everywhere, and I think I can only say that we are very happy that you are here. You can take for granted that we will partner with you.

“It is interesting that this is not your first encounter with the State so all that is required is for us to sit down and flesh out the details to know where we are in terms of the support for the shoe and garment industry and take it to the next level.

He emphasised that the state government’s agenda is to boost Industrialisation, hence the establishment of the Abia Innovation and Industrial Park (AIIP) in Ukwa West LGA of the State.

“Today we have the Abia Innovation and Industrial Park and I believe this is a good time for you to come onboard.

“Looking at the feasibility studies, the areas we are looking at include the industrial park, petrochemical refinery, renewable energy, manufacturing and other areas of engagement,” Governor Otti stated.

He adviced for a follow-up meeting and directed his Principal Secretary and Chief Strategist Officer to engage with UNIDO to consolidate and chart the way forward for collaboration.

Earlier, the country Representative of UNIDO, represented by the National Programme Officer of the organisation, Dr. Reuben Bamidele, noted that the organisation in 2008 worked with the state government for the establishment of the common facility center for garment and leather in partnership with the export council, in Aba.

He said that the UNIDO is a specialised agency of the United Nations that promotes industrialisation for poverty reduction, inclusive globalisation and developmental sustainability, noting that the organisation achieves its objectives by creating shared prosperity and working with member states and organisations by advancing economic competitiveness.

“We do these by creating shared prosperity and working with member states and organisations by advancing economic competitiveness, also by safeguarding the environment, strengthening knowledge and institutional advancement for countries.

“In Nigeria, we have the programme for country partnership (PCP) that binds UNIDO and the government of Nigeria.

“The PCP has six departments; we have the Industrial Governance, Statistics and Research; the Value Chains Development particularly with agriculture and mining; the Special Economic Zones, Industrial Parks and Industrial Cluster Development; the Trade Capacity Building, MSMES Development, Renewable Energy and Environment.

“We have provided support for value chains development in this area and other  sectors of the economy,” Dr. Bamidele elaborated.