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By Amaka Isikala  :

The Anambra State Commissioner for Industry, Mr. Christian Udechukwu has described the state under Mr Governor, Prof Chukwuma  Soludo, as a steadily rising economic destination point in Africa and an increasingly preferred location where numerous developmental and industrial enterprises are being encouraged to establish and flourish.

The Commissioner made the remark during an interactive session with some officials of United Nations Development Program (UNDP) from Lagos State who visited him in his office at Jerome Udoji Secretariat Complex, Awka.

Mr. Udechukwu declared that Anambra State is steadily planning, organizing, strategizing, and executing to launch an ambitious agenda in Anambra Industrial City with a view to move Anambra State toward becoming one of the global centers of excellence for Industries with the capacity to absorb and process a vast variety of raw materials to finished manufactured products, in automotive industry park, pharmaceutical industry park, agro – processing industry park, leisure – entertainment centres, financial services centres and more. 

“Some of the made in Anambra products would be exported back into the global market to earn foreign exchange and to grow our share of global trade.

“In order to achieve this goal of establishing an emerging manufacturing hub, Mr. Governor, Prof Soludo will soon unveil the Masterplan for the new Anambra Industrial City, the new Awka 2.0, Onitsha 2.0, the Solution Fun City and more.

“In the Ministry, we are looking to grow our export program, we are also aiming to reach out to the world as a rising trading and industrial centre.”

According to him, We are hopeful to partner with UNDP for industrial investment promotion, export development, talent enhancements, global placement of highly skilled talents, capacity building for export focused industries, setting up trading houses in overseas markets and working to attain all compliance with international trades and to access new markets.”

Commissioner Udechukwu also pointed out that, beyond industrial development that Gov. Soludo is poised to grow a population that is productive at home and exportable abroad as well as ensuring that the next generation is more literate than the current one. This is why the Governor is investing free education in public schools and human capacity development through innovation and vocational skills acquisition for youths. 

Earlier, the leader of the team Mrs. Joyce Oburu, thanked Commissioner Udechukwu for availing them the opportunity to interface with him and expressed their happiness to be in Anambra state to consolidate their historical partnership. 

Mrs. Oburu said that the aim of their visit was for new program development and data verification for their Small to Medium Enterprise project grant support program that the UNDP are implementing in Anambra State.

She added that the SME Grant Support Scheme project was designed to supporting and enhancing the growth capacity of SME’s using cluster approach that is comprised of two layers which include a grant of 100,000 to 3,000 SME’s in the state and staged capacity building for SME’s through trainings, mentorship and coaching of the entrepreneurs.

“The purpose is to enhance and intensify their capacity to do business in a standardized form and to help them with the grant to bounce back from the shocks of the recent global economic turbulence that had affected Nigeria after the COVID-19 era because according to survey, Anambra State were also severely affected.

“We are not giving them the grant for short term purpose, we also have long term purpose to ensure that all these businesses strive,” she said.

The team leader said that the project has six states as the pilot states,  pointing out that Anambra has always been home for UNDP over many decades with a State UNDP Resident Officer in Nigeria, Ms Chinwetal.

She also stressed that UNDP have some additional programs they are about to roll out in the Anambra State, ranging from African Young Innovators Program and UNDP Jubilee Fellow programs that will be of benefit to Ndi Anambra.

“To propagate this SME Grant Scheme program, we have a structure where we reach out to people in the LGA’s through ASATU with Traditional Rulers and President Generals of various towns taking the sensitization to the grassroots and they have already selected people that will help in local mobilization, reported Mr Okwudili Obiefuna, Director of SME at the State Ministry of Industry. 

“We are at the stage of sensitization, awareness and also mobilizing our youths for their participation in communities and markets. Very soon, people will start online registration for these UNDP programs,” he said.

Present at the meeting were the Director SME Mr. Okwudili Obiefuna, the SA on Commerce and Industry Mr. Eloka Mmaduekwe and the SA to the Commissioner and UNDP desk officer in the Industry Ministry, Ms Jennifer Okoye.

*Amaka is of the Ministry of Information, Anambra State


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