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Uduaghan Earmarks N1bn To Boost “Delta Beyond Oil” Initiative

Delta State Governor Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan

Ignatius Okpara, Enugu

Governor  Emmanuel Uduaghan, of Delta state on Wednesday stressed the need for government at all levels to make concerted and pragmatic efforts towards the growth of the Agricultural sector and Small and Medium  Enterprises (SMEs) development in Nigeria.

Delta State Governor Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan

Delta State Governor Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan

The governor, who stated this while declaring open the 2013, Delta State Trade Fair taking place at Osubi, near Warri, disclosed that his administration as part of measures under the Delta Beyond Oil Initiative, has earmarked a whopping N1 billion market intervention fund.

Represented by his Deputy, Prof. Amos Utuama, the governor, said ” The lessons of economic history the world over, suggests that advanced nations of the world started by developing their SMEs and agricultural sector, which served as a springboard for industrialisation.

“Conscious efforts should therefore be geared towards the improvement of agriculture and SMEs in Nigeria to harness and channel production in industrial sector towards non-oil products backed by local materials.

According to him, ” Trade Fairs provide the needed platform to expose locally made goods, adding that It also affords local entrepreneurs, the opportunity to interface with their counterparts from other parts of the world with a view to harnessing the various investment windows available and adopting international best practices in doing business.”

The governor, noted, that The theme of this year’s exercise: “Trade Beyond Oil, was particularly relevant, because it goes to the heart of the economic revival both of the State and of Nigeria.

“This consciousness is beginning to dawn on all Nigerians that sole dependence on oil has been counter-productive.

“This awareness is demonstrated by the enthusiasm with which Nigerians are getting involved in the manufacture of non-oil export products.

Continuing, “Venturing into areas of production, which are not tied to oil is a better answer to the myriad economic problems staring us in the face.

“I am reliably informed that most products on exhibition in this Fair which are comparable in quality with their imported counterparts, are made in Nigeria.

He said the State government is pursuing its policy of Delta Beyond Oil by putting machinery in place to ensure that the State becomes an industrial and commercial haven through the formulation of various investment friendly policies and programmes in addition to the various windows designed by the private sector operators to grow businesses.

“As a step in this direction, this administration has formulated policies that would guide investments and industrial matters in the State,”

The governor, added that “due to the deplorable conditions of most of our rural markets, we have through the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, set aside the sum of N1billion naira as interventionist funds for the development of these markets.” he hinted

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