Senate Laments Poor State of Industrial Development Centres in the Country. The Chairman, Senate Committee on Industry, Senator Sam Egwu, has lamented the poor state of Industrial Development Centres (IDCs) across the country and has vowed to do all within its power to revive them. Senator Egwu stated this during his committee’s oversight visit to the IDCs in Port Harcourt and Owerri recently. He expressed disappointment with what they saw at the centres."It is disheartening that the IDCs which are supposed to make positive impact on the employment generation of beneficiary, small scale business as well as training of entrepreneurs and their staff including management training are in this deplorable state and left to waste away", he said.
The Lawmaker further stated that his committee understands that money has been appropriated yearly for the IDCs but wondered why the facilities are still in the state they were. “Where has the money meant for this place gone to", Egwu asked.
He said the committee would have visited the IDCs before the 2017 budget defence so as to see where they could assist.He noted that the committee will see how they would come in and revive "these Centres, because they are key to the industrialisation programme of the federal government".
Senator Egwu who was accompanied by Senator Barnabas Gemade also commended the Director General of the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (SMEDAN), Dr Dikko Umaru Radda, for his approach and tenacity towards the revitalization of the IDCs.
"We salute your effort and we are impressed with what you are doing to revive the IDCs”. He expressed happiness that SMEDAN was collaborating with the African Development Bank (AfDB) for a study on how to convert the IDCs to industrial clusters.
Also, that the approach by the agency was apt as Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative was the only way out as government alone cannot do it.
The Director General of the Small and medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, SMEDAN, Dr Dikko Umaru Radda, who conducted the senators round the Port Harcourt and Owerri, IDCs noted that the Agency was doing its best to rehabilitate the IDCs which were handed over to it by the federal ministry of Industry Trade and Investment in 2010.
He lamented that most machines in the Centres are obsolete with many left unused since they were installed.He said the IDCs were meant to offer common facilities and workspaces to MSMEs and with the collaboration with AfDB, he was sure the IDCs would soon come back to life.
Dr Radda also revealed that since 2011 the Agency had not received overhead or capital votes for the IDCs, adding that the agency was committed to reviving the Centres throughout the country.