Delta State has been assured of support by stakeholders including United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), and Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) in its strive for investment components of its Delta Beyond Oil policy which seeks to exploit non oil resources for economic empowerment of the people.
They gave the assurance Thursday, when the Governor of the State Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan gave a detailed presentation of the State’s export potentials, to the Nigerian Export Promotion Council at the organization’s headquarters in Abuja.
Explaining efforts aimed at encouraging small and medium scale entrepreneurs to produce and export goods and services as well as attract funding to them, Uduaghan said a conducive atmosphere awaited prospective investors adding that the presentation tagged “Dialogue on Delta Beyond Oil was for Delta State to partner with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council.
The Governor said he has intensified efforts to expand industrialization in Delta State, taking advantage of support of local and international development organizations particularly the United Nations Industrial development organization, UNIDO and the World Bank.
Governor Uduaghan stated that Delta State had been exporting non – oil products to drive development and youth empowerment stressing that investors were needed to explore the development of exportable products including solid minerals.
The State Commissioner for Finance and Economic Planning, who is also the Chairman of the Delta State Economic Planning Management Team, Chief Kenneth Okpara also made a detail presentation of the State’s economic growth and efforts to attract investors and promote export.
According to him, Delta State recorded an impressive eight point five (8.5% ) economic growth last year, a feat he noted was achieved through Governor Uduaghan’s astute management of resources.
He said government had encouraged industrialization through the support of the World Bank and the Bank of Industry as well as the recruitment of technocrats to achieve professionalism particularly in the management of human capital resources.
Chief Okpara appealed for support in developing solid mineral resources, technical expertise in products processing and standardization training and participation in export production village’s activities.
The UNIDO Country Representative, Nigeria, Dr. Patrick Kormawa noted Delta State’s commitment to their partnership which has promoted industrialization particularly in the growth of leather and shoe making enterprises.
He commended Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan for the Delta Beyond Oil Vision and pledged his support.
In her contribution the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council, Mrs. Saratu Umar pledged the support of her organization in attracting foreign direct investment to Delta State.
The Director of Project Development, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Mr. Henry Otowo in a presentation on non-oil Export potentials and opportunities in Delta State advised Delta State to setup its committee on export promotion and identify the product it has comparative advantage as well as export production village for palm oil and its derivatives.
Mr. Otowo applauded governor Uduaghan for being the first governor in the country to look beyond oil for her economic development.
He advised that the Delta State Micro- Credit Programme operational scope be expanded to include functional export cooperative adding that the abundant entertainment on the tourism potentials of the State be developed for export.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council Mr. Olusegun Awolowo said Delta State’s development of non – oil resources and provision of infrastructure to attract investors was in consonance with his organization’s vision of promoting the development and export of non –oil resources,.
He urged Delta State to conduct supply based study of her exportable products.
Highlight of the occasion, was the presentation of some of the state’s exportable products including plantain flour, food spices and hand woven akwa –ocha clothes to the Nigeria Export Promotion Council and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, by the State Governor.