The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) has pledged support for Nigerian youths in the area of information communication technology development. UNIDO’s representative to Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Jean B. Bakole, disclosed this recently when he visited the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, to present his Letter of Credence.
Bakole also pledged the Organisation’s commitment to boost the capital base of women and youths engaged in small and medium scale enterprises.Noting that the next programme which UNIDO is designing for the country will kick-off during the year and runs through 2020, he stated that UNIDO would be focusing majorly on the supports for the youth as the future of the country.
He added that since a lot of them have shown interest in ICT, the organisation would be integrating same in its programmes for the country.According to Bakole, some incentives have also been designed to assist women involved in small-scale businesses.
“We saw that a lot of young women are involved in small businesses. We are concerned about how we can give them capacities to run their businesses.“We have to put in place, a number of incentives including the financing strategies that can help them to move ahead”, he said.
Bakole told the Minister that UNIDO would be expanding its cooperation with Nigeria towards translating the country’s policy on industrialization.Meanwhile, he said that UNIDO would be completing on-going projects in the energy sector, capacity building and in the area of environmental protection.
He however pointed out that for Nigeria to play key role as a leading economy in Africa, there must be a strong policy and massive investment to drive the economy through industrialization.
“The major issue is that in UNIDO, we need a strong commitment of the government of Nigeria to support industrialization. There is no country in the world which has been developed without going through strong industrialization.”In his response, the Minister congratulated him on his new assignment and pledged government’s support in ensuring a conducive work environment.