Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia has said that the State Industrial Policy document will serve as a catalyst to drive its economic advancement.
Ikpeazu said this while receiving the document from the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) Representative to ECOWAS, Mr Jean Bakole, in Umuahia on Friday.
The governor directed the Ministry of Industry, Promotion and Development to set up a team that would study the document and produce a timeline to facilitate implementation.
He said that the team would handle the responsibility of explaining the policy to the State Executive Council and organise a stakeholders’ meeting for its official presentation to the public.
”The Abia State Industrial Policy Document is the third of such documents evolved by the present administration. Before 2015, the state had no Long Term Development and Master Plan for Aba, Umuahia and Ohafia,” he said.
According to him, lack of understanding of the basic issues surrounding the problems which the government seeks to solve is the bane of development in government organisations.
He said he was proud that Abia had become the ‘SME capital of Nigeria and had continued to excel in SME development”,.
The governor said that at the end of his tenure, he would be handing over two industries to the next administration.
Ikpeazu thanked the UNIDO representative for partnering the state, appreciated the milestone achieved and congratulated the Ministry of Industry, Promotion and Development for achieving the feat.
In her remark, the Commissioner for Industry, Promotion and Development, Mrs Uwaoma Olenwengwa, described the document as one that would facilitate industrial development of the state.
Olewengwa said that the industrial policy would play a vital role in the actualisation of industrial revolution in Abia as it would help the government to make informed decisions to industrial development.
Earlier, Bakole said that the policy was key to economic development of the state, adding that Abia could not be ignored whenever issues of industrial sector and development are discussed.
He said that the document would assist the state in changing the narratives of its industrial development and stressed the need for the government to further strengthen the capacity of investments in Abia.
Bakole commended the government for its commitment toward modernising the state’s economy through bringing in the industrial policy.
He urged the government to ensure effective implementation of the policy.