NIGERIA – The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation has said that it plans to invest $60m in about nine sectors in Nigeria.
A statement issued in Abuja in October by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing stated that a delegation from UNIDO revealed this during a courtesy call on the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola.
Jean Bakole, who was UNIDO’s delegation leader informed the minister that development organization would invest the $60m in Nigeria to boost the performance of the benefiting sectors.
He outlined that the sectors to benefit from the money include agriculture and agro-based businesses, trade and capacity building, housing and construction, infrastructure development, energy and environment, among others.
Responding to the remarks made by Bakole, Fashola expressed delight at the US$60 million which UNIDO had set aside and was planning to invest in about nine sectors in Nigeria.
He, however, told the team that instead of spreading the amount on so many areas, it would be more beneficial to invest the money in two or three critical areas so as to have maximum on the people of Nigeria.
“$60m is a huge amount of money,” said the minister, “but it is not the money that is the issue but how it is being used.”
“My thoughts are that instead of spreading this money thin over a large area, as you said, why not use it on one or two projects that could be of impact to the people,” added the minister.
Fashola suggested that the money could be invested in a massive industrial complex that would become an example in Africa.
He also stated that although food prices were still high in Nigeria, the Federal Government’s commitment to agriculture was yielding results in terms of increase in food production.
The works and housing minister stated that the high food prices across the country were expected to come down gradually as the country’s food supply increased.
Fashola stated that with the increase in food production, Nigeria would be in a position of not only supplying the local markets but also to international markets particularly in North and Central African sub-regions.