FG diversifying economy from oil, gas — Official

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Participants of the 14th meeting of the National Council on Industry, Trade and Investment in Bauchi on Monday

Mrs Evelyn Ngige, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, on Monday said the President Muhammadu Buhari administration was working hard to diversify the Nigerian economy from over-dependence on oil and gas.

Ngige stated this  during the opening ceremony of the 14th meeting of the National Council on Industry, Trade and Investment in Bauchi.

According to her, the meeting could not have come at a better time than now  when all  efforts  are being made by the Federal Government to further  fortify the  economy by devising  means to diversify it from its present  overdependence on the oil and gas sector.

She said the National Council on Industry, Trade and Investment was the highest Policy Advisory Body in the sector, under the chairmanship of the Honourable Minister of State of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mariam Katagum.

The Permanent Secretary explained that the main purpose of the Council meeting was to brainstorm, strategise, deliberate and recommend policies  and programmes aimed  at  addressing  challenges  facing the sector.

“Today, major economies, particularly in the developed world are driven by the industry, trade and investment sectors.

“We must, therefore, redouble our efforts towards turning our industry, trade and investment sectors into the main engine of growth of the national economy for the common prosperity of all Nigerians.

“It is important to note that decisions reached by the Council will be escalated for the consideration of the Federal Executive Council, after which the implementation of the decisions will be coordinated by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.

“In the next two days, our job here as technical officials will be to deliberate on all the Memoranda received and  recommend appropriate decisions  for presentation and consideration by the Ministerial  Council on Thursday, 10th November 2022,” she said.

Ngige, who revealed that the council had received over 70 memoranda from various Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) for deliberations and consideration, urged the stakeholders  to thoroughly examine them for appropriate recommendations.

She said these recommendations would further strengthen the sector to deliver economic growth and development through industrialisation and increase investment in the local economy for employment generation and wealth creation.

In her address, Hajiya Zainab Takko, Bauchi state Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, said the National Council meeting was an important forum where far-reaching decisions on industrial growth and development of the country were discussed.

She added that it was a forum where workable solutions were proffered to move the nation towards economic independence and self-reliance in both the public and private domains of the economy.

The commissioner further said Bauchi State had keyed into numerous federal government programmes and initiatives bordering on commerce, industry and investment.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the five-day meeting was organised by the Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment in collaboration with the Bauchi state Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

The theme of the meeting is ‘Strengthening Industry, Trade and Investment sector in promoting development in the country.’