Industrial Clusters Will Help Reduce the Cost of Manufacturing _ Dr. Andrew Uwanta

By Ndifreke Akpan   

The Chairman of the National Association of Small Scale Industrialists in Akwa

Ibom Dr Andrew Uwanta has called on the state government to

integrate small scale industrialists into the empowerment plans of

the state government even as he has bemoaned their continued neglect by

successive governments in the area

He has also called for industrial clusters to help incubate and reduce the

cost of manufacturing or processing for such categories of industrialists.

Uwanta told newsmen at the weekend that dearth of access to funds

occasioned by neglect of the sector by successive governments in the state

has remained the major impediment to industrial growth of the

state.

He maintained that small scale industrialists remained the catalyst to

economic emancipation and increased employment in any society

regretting that most administration since the state creation of the state

has done anything meaningful to encourage the sector.

“The  problem here too is that people and even some government has failed

to different NASSI from traders. NASSI is made up of small

scale manufacturers and is well structured in Akwa Ibom for government to

deal with.It is unfortunate that successive governments in the state has

failed to deal meaningfully with us and that accounts for

why the state has continued to remain a civil service state.

“Except for ex Governor Victor Attah, most administrations since the state

was created have done nothing meaningful to encourage the small scale

industrislists. Attah’s experiment could have been the catalyst needed to

revamp of the sector but the funds were not managed well and some of the

beneficiaries did not refund the funds given them to enable others get too.

“The present government is concentrating with medium and large scale

industries  involving big time investors and huge funding  but I want

them to also remember the small scale industrialists because they remained

the catalyst to industrialization of the state.

“They have the capacity to create millions of employment opportunities and

at the same time provide meaningful income to millions of people

in the state. What they need is access to funding with a single digit

interest rate and maybe industrial clusters where access to  power and

other facilities will be cheap and you will be surprised at the impact they

could create in the economy of the state.” Uwanta explained.

He backed allegation by the state government that the Federal Government

cheated it to the tune of N6bn in statutory allocation to the state

describing the FG action as politically motivated to starve the state and

PDP of funds.

“We are no fools, we know what they are doing just like they did in Ekiti.

The FG should pay us in fool what is due to us afterall we

produce much of the nation’s wealth.” Uwanta said.

Published in maiden edition, Lens Newspapers Vol. 1 No. 7.

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