Uduaghan, declaring open the Delta State Trade Fair 2013, in Osubi, near Warri, informed that his administration as part of measures under the Delta Beyond Oil Initiative, has set aside a N1 billion market intervention fund.
The Governor who was represented by his Deputy, Prof. Amos Utuama, observed, ” The lessons of economic history the world over, suggests that advanced nations of the world started by developing their SMEs and agricultural sector, which served as a springboard for industrialization.
“Conscious efforts should therefore be geared towards the improvement of agriculture and SMEs in Nigeria to harness and channel production in industrial sector towards non-oil products backed by local materials.
” Trade Fairs provide the needed platform to expose locally made goods. It also affords local entrepreneurs, the opportunity to interface with their counterparts from other parts of the world with a view to harnessing the various investment windows available and adopting international best practices in doing business.”
He noted, “The theme of this year’s exercise: Trade Beyond Oil, is particularly relevant, because it goes to the heart of the economic revival both of the State and our nation.
“This consciousness is beginning to dawn on all Nigerians that sole dependence on oil has been counter-productive.This awareness is demonstrated by the enthusiasm with which Nigerians are getting involved in the manufacture of non-oil export products.
“Venturing into areas of production, which are not tied to oil is a better answer to the myriad economic problems staring us in the face. I am reliably informed that most products on exhibition in this Fair which are comparable in quality with their imported counterparts, are made in Nigeria.
Uduaghan informed, “The State government is pursuing its policy of Delta Beyond Oil by putting machinery in place to ensure that the State is an industrial and commercial haven through the formulation of various investment friendly policies and programmes in addition to the various windows designed by the private sector operators to grow businesses.
“As a step in this direction, this administration has formulated policies that would guide investments and industrial matters in the State,” adding, ” due to the deplorable conditions of most of our rural markets, we have through the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, set aside the sum of N1billion naira as interventionist funds for the development of these markets.”