Recent announcement by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) to convert the 23 Industrial development Centres scattered in several states in the country into industrial Clusters has been endorsed as a smart move.
It was noted that it will make for rapid industrial and economic growth, within the framework of the current vision for economic diversification and development in Nigeria.
Prince Adetokunbo Kayode SAN, the President of Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) gave this endorsement yesterday in Abuja, stating that “the initiative will go a long way in ensuring that jobs and wealth are created, rapid economic growth is assured leveraging on the economies of clustering of industries.
Prince Kayode explained that industrial clusters or more appropriately, ‘industrial hubs’, will enable innovation and technology interact with commerce to enhance industrial, commercial and economic production which is sorely required now.
He however counseled that these hubs, if not already in the vicinity (co-location) of relevant tertiary or institutions like polytechnic or university, they must still be partnered (virtual co-location) to the nearest appropriate institution in other to actuate the necessary, but presently, generally absent, synergy between Research and Development (R&D).
“Ready availability and adaptation of research into industry underline critical the difference between rapid technological developing countries and those countries that wait forever for others to transfer technology to them”, he stated.
He added that technology is the backbone of all economic and commercial activities in the global arena and Nigeria cannot continue to wait like a beggar, cap in hand, as the world roll by.
“We want to ensure that the various researches being carried out yearly in our institutions are of directly relevance, driven by the focus of the proximate industrial hub.
“At our stage of development, any research engaged in by or in our institutions and which is not relevant to our immediate needs amounts to a monumental waste of valuable time and resources”, Prince Kayode added.
For successful outcomes he expressed the readiness of the organized private sector led by NACCIMA as well as the various city Chambers of Commerce like the Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Aba Chamber of Commerce to partner and collaborate with the government on the initiative.
He also enjoined SMEDAN and the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to ensure that the National Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (NAIPA), various states Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) are all integrated into these plans through the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC).
He said “This will enable the project access the appropriate structure and platforms for sourcing of capital funding for and investment in the industrial development hubs for sustainable implementation. It will also enable the exponential growth multiplier and value-chain industrial activities as natural outcomes of this laudable project.”