By Peter Usman
As a measure to mitigate against recession in the country, President, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, ACCI Prince Adetokumbo Kayode (SAN) has called for urgent development of local industries with at least 104 Industrial Parks across Nigeria.
Kayode mage the call on Thursday while delivering a welcome address at the opening ceremony of the 15th Abuja International Trade Fair, along Airport road, Abuja.
President of ACCI, who said the importance of Industrial Parks cannot be overemphasised, adding industrial park is paramount for the growth of small and middle-sized enterprises as it drives the economy of a country.
He recommended that states in the country should develop at least five Industrial Parks, while the South West, Eastern and Middle belt states should target a minimum of at least ten each.
“The decline in GDP for the third quarter of 2020 is not unconnected with low activities, both at the domestic and international levels which hugely affected the economic growth during the quarter as a result of several lockdown measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic all over the world.
“But we are certain that Nigeria will come out of it like we did in 2016. But we must learn from it and put the lessons learned into action” he said.
Kayode also asserted that Nigeria could as well expand the number of Industrial Parks it currently has, saying that this would boost productions which in turn lead to improved economic growth.
“These parks should be a place where raw materials can be processed from its raw form to its finished products, including the roughages should be processed into something useful. Nothing must be wasted.
“The Northern part of the country should concentrate on cereal crops including maize, millet, rice, cottons, livestock and mininig, while the petrochemicals in the South-South Nigeria must equally target increasing its cocoa production to be processed into all cocoa by products for export by 10000% by 2023” Kayode said.
Also speaking, the Minister of the FCT, Alhaji Muhammad Musa Bello commended the ACCI for putting things in order for the programme and the 2020 trade fair.
Bello stated that this year theme: “Trade and Commerce Beyond Borders” is in tandem with President Muhammadu Buhari agenda, stating that the FCT Administration will definitely make Abuja environment conducive for local and foreign investors.
The Minister therefore called on wealthy Nigerians and foreigners as well to come and invest in Abuja.
Director General, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, ACCI, Victoria Akai, thanked participants for gracing the occasion as she also urged them to visit all the stands and as long as the trade fair last.
Present at the opening ceremony were the Minister of FCT, Alhaji Muhammad Musa Bello, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, National President, National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, NACCIMA, represented among others.