The centres will be sited in Lagos, Kano and Anambra states
The Federal Government said on Wednesday it has finalized plans to create three new automobile clusters and training centres in Lagos, Anambra and Kano states as part of the National Industrial Revolution Plan and Industrial Skills Development Programme.
Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, who said this at the ongoing 19th Industrial Training Fund (ITF) biennial training conference on Skills Acquisition and Job Creation in Abuja, denied that the Federal Government was contemplating creating a new agency for industrialization.
Mr. Aganga said what the government was considering was to transform an existing agency under the supervision of the ministry (with a related mandate) to drive the implementation of its industrialisation policies, in line with an agreement reached at a meeting on the National Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) about two months ago.
“As part of our National Industrial Skills Development Programme and the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan, the Industrial Training Fund is collaborating with Brazil to develop three automobile training centres and clusters across the country that will meet international standards,” the Minister said.
He identified Lagos (Ibadan Zone), Nnewi (Aba Zone) and Kano (Kaduna zone) as the locations for the planned automobile clusters, adding that the automobile training centres would train Nigerians in auto maintenance and spare parts production.
“For us to successfully diversify our economy, create jobs and generate wealth for our country, industrialization remains our only hope for the future,” he said, adding that in order to achieve this objective, the country needed to build strong institutions to drive the industrialization process, just as it was done in other industrialized countries.
The Federal Government, he noted, was already working on ways to reduce the cost of governance by reducing the number of government agencies, pointing out that what government proposed at the stakeholders’ meeting on the NIRP was to transform an existing agency within the ministry to drive the implementation the industrial revolution plan.
The minister said the ministry was working with the ITF and the private sector to bridge the skills and manpower gaps across critical sectors of the nation’s economy by providing specialized training for Nigerians, adding that the initiative would help reduce youth unemployment nationwide.
Cross River State Governor, Liyel Imoke, noted that the introduction and implementation of the National Industrial Skills Development Programme by the Ministry had helped to re-invigorate the spirit of entrepreneurship in the state adding that it was a sad reality that most of our youth were currently dislocated economically by unemployment.
Mr Imoke hailed Mr. Aganga for introducing the National Industrial Skills Development Programme, which, he said, has helped to re-invigorate the spirit of entrepreneurship in his state.
Manufacturers Association of Nigeria President, Kola Jamodu, said the country cannot achieve any meaningful economic growth and development without a vibrant manufacturing sector, urging the minister ensure that he sustained his genuine passion, commitment and policies aimed at addressing the major challenges facing the sector.