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  Dr. Abdulmalik Ndagi, is the Director General Niger State Industrial Parks Development Agency who is solely responsible for the development of industrial park and industrial clusters in the state.
He was cornered in Nnewi , Anambra State where he was guest speaker on a Seminar on Globalization of Nigerian Industries tagged, ’Exposing African Businesses to Global opportunities’jointly organized by BizKonnect,UK and Nnewi Chamber of Commerce Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NCCIMA). In this interview with AMAECHI PERCY ONYEJEKWE,he spoke on a number of issues bothering on globalization, among others. When did you assume office? Well. First I worked with Federal Ministry of Science and Technology before now as the Manager, Zonal coordinator of Technology Incubation whose main responsibility is to promote small scale industry based on R and D result or commercialization R and D result through SME. So you see I have that background. Now, I did that for over a period of 14 years before I moved to Niger State.
And with the state now, I have worked for the state now for the past six years as DG in charge of industrial park , in charge of PPP. But I am fully focused on industrial park now. What is the government objective in building Industrial Parks and clusters in Niger State? The main essence, the main focus of Niger State in doing this is to industrialize the State because Niger State is an agrarian state. produce the food and people move them out .So, we want to start processing and we are trying to industrialize the state. First we want to base our industrialization on agricultural processing, agro based industries before we go to manufacturing, before we go to Hi-Tech. But we must start from somewhere. So we have our programmes and staring from that level. What are the achievements you have made? Our success as far as industrial park is concerned in the State is that we have established what we call GARAM industrial Park, it is a border between Niger State and FCT and we to take advantage of industries in FCT so they can have a sub land in Niger State. In terms of clusters, we have been able to develop one industrial cluster in Minna and a full blown industrial park in Minna too. So, at least we have been able to develop what we call industrial master plan for the state before now. So we have where industrial park should be, we have where industrial cluster should be.All this is trying to bring facilities and opportunities closer to the people so that wherever you are you will be able to set up business. Not necessarily that it must be within the state capital. And don’t forget we have what we call the Baro Port, which the dredging of River Niger ends at Baro. Within that Port we have concluded an industrial plan at that port. So these are some of the achievements we done so far. What opportunities do you see in globalization of local businesses in the country given present day situations? To globalize products produced in Nigeria is very simple because the concept of globalization has broken down barriers between countries so you can go across bothers. First take a look at ECOWAS as a businessman you don’t need visa to go to any ECOWAS country. And African Union (AU)are contemplating that same principle that if you are an African you don’t need visa to go round. If that happens, it is a great opportunity for Nigerian produce and Nigerian products and Nigerian businessmen to cross borders and perhaps cover the whole Africa. As of today, it may surprise you that if you go to India you see Nigeria product. You get to Central African Bangui you see Nigeria product, South Africa, Nigeria product, Ethiopia, Nigeria product. Is that not quite interesting? So, Nigeria products are moving across, so there is wide opportunity in the light of globalization. But there are challenges. What are the challenges? Those challenges included our packaging. NAFDAC is trying. No matter the quality of the products as certified by NAFDAC , as certified by SON you discover that the product still lack proper packaging, the finishing is not good enough to go to international market. But we are gradually overcoming that. Go to, even in Nnewi where we are now, Lagos or Aba you find that the packaging is gradually Improving . That is one advantage of globalization. It gives us the opportunity to see what is happening in other places. If you don’t import you won’t have the opportunity to manufacture like what you have imported. So, it opens up our eyes and we too, we are trying to move out.It is just time and we would be able to get there. But one of the biggest and majour challenges is power. If the Federal Government is able to overcome the problem of power in the country, particularly in the South East, you will be surprised what will come out from this place. Despite the devolution of power supply under the PPP arrangement there is still this challenge of power supply, in what ways do you think this can be overcome to encourage industries and other economic activities in the country? Well. We have a power policy; we have a power master plan and the rest of them.
That is what government is supposed to do. The next thing is government should do is create enabling environment. Government is doing that. But the private sector that is coming into this PPP arrangement for power, we discover that most of them don’t have the capability, financially and technically. And when they come they run into hitches here and there.
So the people we are going into PPP with, first, the people representing government must understand the concept of PPP and package it, and package it very well. Secondly, the financiers. So the financiers of this PPP arrangement, we need to bring them in and let them understand and let us have a robust agreement where if you fell or default there is a penalty.
So the people we are going into PPP with, first, the people representing government must understand the concept of PPP and package it, and package it very well. Secondly, the financiers. So the financiers of this PPP arrangement, we need to bring them in and let them understand and let us have a robust agreement where if you fell or default there is a penalty.
One major problem with Nigeria is implementation. Even implementation, when you default, there are sanctions. Our sanctions are not always very strong and that is why we run into problem because everybody knows that if you go to Nigeria and you defaults or you defraud Nigeria and run away nothing will happen. If your Nigerian can be arrested and dealt wilt, wherever you are you are traced through Interpol, you are dealt with,even outside this country people will become a bit careful.
So if anybody coming in he will be damn sure he will be prepared before he comes. Tony Iredia of NTA,he once said ‘you say corruption, corruption, corruption in Nigeria, there must be a giver, there must be a taker and both of them are corrupt’. So if you are talking of corruption in Nigeria is collaboration with our foreign partners. So, so some those who are coming in the PPP are not coming with absolute sincerity.
Their hands are not clean. So they come and see how they can defraud government, they key in ad defraud government, so the major challenges are technical capability, financial capability financial prudency, these are some of the problems we are having. What words do you have for government over that? The only way we can say is that when there are rules and regulation, when there policy let us follow it. And who ever fails let that be sanctioned appropriately. If that is done Nigeria will be better for it. Nigeria appears to be over dependent on oil.
People think that government should exploit other resources in the country such as agriculture among others. What have you to say? That is before now Nigeria was over dependent on oil. But today, Nigeria is not absolutely depending on oil. If you look at the Debasing Report that was released, the dependence on oil is not as it used to be in over 90 per cent of our resources.We have resources coming in through VAT, through custom and all that and in Agriculture  we have a lot of resources coming in, and in non-oil produce we have a lot of resources coming in .So the dependent on oil is gradually coming down.
People think that government should exploit other resources in the country such as agriculture among others. What have you to say? That is before now Nigeria was over dependent on oil. But today, Nigeria is not absolutely depending on oil. If you look at the Debasing Report that was released, the dependence on oil is not as it used to be in over 90 per cent of our resources.We have resources coming in through VAT, through custom and all that and in Agriculture  we have a lot of resources coming in, and in non-oil produce we have a lot of resources coming in .So the dependent on oil is gradually coming down.
People think that government should exploit other resources in the country such as agriculture among others. What have you to say? That is before now Nigeria was over dependent on oil. But today, Nigeria is not absolutely depending on oil. If you look at the Debasing Report that was released, the dependence on oil is not as it used to be in over 90 per cent of our resources.We have resources coming in through VAT, through custom and all that and in Agriculture  we have a lot of resources coming in, and in non-oil produce we have a lot of resources coming in .So the dependent on oil is gradually coming down.
People think that government should exploit other resources in the country such as agriculture among others. What have you to say? That is before now Nigeria was over dependent on oil. But today, Nigeria is not absolutely depending on oil. If you look at the Debasing Report that was released, the dependence on oil is not as it used to be in over 90 per cent of our resources.We have resources coming in through VAT, through custom and all that and in Agriculture  we have a lot of resources coming in, and in non-oil produce we have a lot of resources coming in .So the dependent on oil is gradually coming down.
People think that government should exploit other resources in the country such as agriculture among others. What have you to say? That is before now Nigeria was over dependent on oil. But today, Nigeria is not absolutely depending on oil. If you look at the Debasing Report that was released, the dependence on oil is not as it used to be in over 90 per cent of our resources.We have resources coming in through VAT, through custom and all that and in Agriculture  we have a lot of resources coming in, and in non-oil produce we have a lot of resources coming in .So the dependent on oil is gradually coming down.
So we have to appreciate what government is doing from that perspective. So on Agriculture, Lagos is the smallest state in the country,followed by Anambra. And Lagos decides to make it on agriculture progressive. Lagos is farming rice in commercial quantity. Anambra, one of their cardinal points now is agricultural mechnization so it needs means that we are all going back to the bases. That oil is there but let us look at other possibilities definitely we are going gradually every other state is venturing into it not just one state.
Consumers lament that some of the products imported into the country, especially electronics from some foreign countries are of substandard quality that doesn’t last long. Looking at the PPP arrangement, what have you to say? It is just simply one of the globalization and liberalization policy or agreement through GAT, WTO. When China was not into WTO their goods were not crossing the border. Now they have opened up their border and taken advantage of the globalization and are now exporting everything. Chinese has one policy they made. Any town that has a population of 500,000 people, they must have a Chinese Village there.
And they are going round the whole world. Even in America they are creating Chinese Village where they will sale their products. Whether you like it or not, because of globalization you cannot stop them. You cannot block them.Today we allege that their products are not qualitative. But in China, their products are qualitative. So they are underrating us and that is why they are bringing in whatever. If they take their product to America and if it is found to be not qualitative, the Americans will reject it.
They will send it back. Instead of going back, it will go round and find its way back to Africa which means that Africa is gradually becoming a dumping ground. From AU perspective there should be a policy from which all these qualities are generally controlled quality would be generally controlled. From the AU point of view, trade missions and trade policy from that point of view. So that Africa should be well protected. We shouldn’t be a dumping ground. We have all the raw materials they come and pack and go.
They will send it back. Instead of going back, it will go round and find its way back to Africa which means that Africa is gradually becoming a dumping ground. From AU perspective there should be a policy from which all these qualities are generally controlled quality would be generally controlled. From the AU point of view, trade missions and trade policy from that point of view. So that Africa should be well protected. We shouldn’t be a dumping ground. We have all the raw materials they come and pack and go.
They will send it back. Instead of going back, it will go round and find its way back to Africa which means that Africa is gradually becoming a dumping ground. From AU perspective there should be a policy from which all these qualities are generally controlled quality would be generally controlled. From the AU point of view, trade missions and trade policy from that point of view. So that Africa should be well protected. We shouldn’t be a dumping ground. We have all the raw materials they come and pack and go.
They will send it back. Instead of going back, it will go round and find its way back to Africa which means that Africa is gradually becoming a dumping ground. From AU perspective there should be a policy from which all these qualities are generally controlled quality would be generally controlled. From the AU point of view, trade missions and trade policy from that point of view. So that Africa should be well protected. We shouldn’t be a dumping ground. We have all the raw materials they come and pack and go.
They finish they send the qualitative ones somewhere and bring the inferior ones to Africa. They feel that our purchasing power is week. We cannot buy qualitative thing. So whatever they will bring to Africa they will reduce the quality. But if we have a good policy framework,a good legal framework and a good regulatory framework all those things will stopand we will begin to have qualitative things like any other place too.

 

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