The Senate passed for a second reading, on Wednesday, a bill which seeks to establish the Nigerian Industrial Development Authority.
Leading the debate on the bill, the sponsor of the bill, Senator Mohammed Sani Musa (APC-Niger East), said the proposed legislation would help to diversify the economy, and address the fundamental infrastructural impediments hindering production activities in the country.
Senator Sani Musa said the proposed law would also move the country beyond selling raw materials to more value-added processing and manufacturing one, create jobs, generate wealth, boost export and broaden the tax base.
He said: “Since the early sixties, abundant oil and gas resources have brought billions of dollars into the coffers of the country leading to a neglect of other sectors which traditionally provided employment for about 40 per cent of the population and nascent manufacturing industry.
“Revenues from oil have hampered efforts to diversify the economy, leading to economic stagnation and recently economic recession which has brought about all this legislation”.
According to him, the bill, as part of its objectives, would “accelerate the build-up of industrial capacity within Nigeria; increase manufacturing contribution to Nigeria’s Gross Product; drive the process of intense industrialisation based on sectors where Nigeria has comparative and competitive advantages”.
The lawmaker further said that the Bill, when passed and signed into law would “facilitate job and wealth creation, provide for economic and revenue diversification, ensure import substitution and export diversification and broaden government’s tax base.”
He described the bill as one of the most ambitious legislation that puts together a comprehensive industrial plan to diversify the economy, achieve industrial growth and reduce poverty.
“This bill will address the age-old constraints that have persistently limited manufacturing. If enacted into law, it will build up industrial infrastructure, prioritize power for industrial use, reduce borrowing and mobilise funding for the real sector.
“It will also facilitate youth training in industrial skills, improve our investment climate, raise productive standards, link innovation to industry and enhance local patronage of made-in Nigeria goods,” he said.
After the bill was read the second time, it was subsequently referred to the Senate Committee on Industry for further legislative scrutiny.
ALSO READ FROM NIGERIAN TRIBUNE
Senate seeks to establish Industrial Development Authority