The Kebbi State Government in collaboration with United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) has step-up efforts for an independent power supply for the state through hydro-electric source.
According to him, there is the possibility that Kebbi State will enjoy independent power supply through hydro-electric source to be located in either Zauro, Kende or Zuru to boost the Industrial quest of the state.
Speaking at the session, the UNIDO representative to ECOWAS and Regional Director, Nigeria Regional Office, Mr Jean Bankole who led UNIDO team, said the organisation considered electricity supply as a critical major sector of industrialisation without which industries and business could not survive.
He told the audience that creating energy supply was among the commitments of UNIDO towards conducting industrial policy for Kebbi State under the country programme for Nigeria.
Bankole added that 60 million US Dollars would be expended to hasten industrial growth, economic entrepreneurship and eradication of poverty.
The team leader noted that UNIDO would chart Environmental policy for the State in recognition of the fact that environment and industrialisation were inter-woven.
“The organisation will provide training skills and material back-up to medium and small scale entrepreneurship in realisation that women and youths who constituted majority of entrepreneurs in this category are in need of support.
“Most importantly, Kebbi State is endowed with several sources of power supply which include hydro-power, solar/wind energy as well as bio-power.”
The Regional Director stressed the importance of creating big integrated agro-industrial park that would propel the rapid industrialisation of the state.
He said UNIDO would consolidate on the policy of President Muhammadu Buhari of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty through job creation and boosting trade and commerce.
Bankole added that the organisation was actively supportive to the quest by Nigeria to diversify her economy away from oil-dependence.
He observed that no country in the world had ever attained development without going through the process of industrialisation, which he said had been the main cardinal objective of UNIDO.
Responding, Gov. Atiku Bagudu appreciated the presence of the delegation in Kebbi State preparatory to implementing UNIDO inclusive and industrial counterpart programme for the state and Nigeria at large.
Bagudu said that the success of industrialisation solidly depended on provision of power supply, stressing the need for establishing energy industrial cluster in the state.
He explained that both Zauro, Kende and Zuru, which the UNIDO team inspected had the potential to be developed as hydro-electric base.
The governor said: “Kebbi State is glad to host UNIDO in recognition of the global experience of the Agency in economic and industrial development.
“The State will provide one million dollars as its counterpart fund to the UNIDO Programme for Nigeria and I hope by 2020, some industries on ground will come on stream.
“It is very important to note that Kebbi State is naturally endowed with conducive climate and environment suitable for industries and investment.”
The governor intimated his guests about the memorandum of understanding between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and Kebbi State on the production of ethanol bio-fuel, as well as modern rice processing mills already established in major cities of the state.
Present at the interactive session were; the Chief of Staff, Government House, Alhaji Suleiman Muhammad-Argungu and Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Babale Umar-Yauri.
Others were the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Dr Abba Sani-Kalgo, Commissioner for Agriculture, Barrister Attahiru-Maccido, Commissioner for Water Resources, Alhaji Nura Usman-Kangiwa, Commissioner for Commerce, Hajiya Rakiya Tanko-Ayuba and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Lands and Housing, Alhaji Malami Muhammad-Shekare.
UNIDO entourage included; the UNIDO representative to ECOWAS and Regional Director, Nigeria Regional Officer Mr Jean Bankole from the Democratic Republic of Congo, team leader, Dr Alhaji Mustapha from Borno State and Energy Expert at UNIDO.
Edited By: Saidu Adamu/ Tukur Muntari.