A bill for an Act to establish the National Industrial Technology Park as a mechanism for clustering of knowledge and innovation-based industrial parks formations in Nigeria has scaled the second reading in the Senate.
This followed a debate on the bill sponsored by Senator Ibikunle Amosun by lawmakers during Tuesday’s plenary in the upper chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.
Senator Amosun, in his lead debate, explained that the bill targeted economic development, youth empowerment, and capacity building.
He added that the industrial park, when established, would be an avenue for Nigerian entrepreneurs to converge and showcase their ideas and creativity, thereby reducing unemployment and restiveness in the country.
Senator Ajayi Borrofice, in his contribution, believes the bill will help the country diversify its economy from a monolithic one that is oil-dependent.
”One example of this Industrial Park is the Silicon Valley in California, USA,” he said. “California is richer than the richest states combined because of the industrial activities of the Silicon Valley.
“If we can achieve this industrial park and back it up with the law, it will help us. The industrial park will help the start-ups to have an environment where they can contribute to the development of the country.”
For Senator Barau Jibrin, the proposed legislation will help Nigeria to be fully industrialised and achieve its long-term objectives in terms of industrialisation.
“I urge my colleagues to support this bill to bring full-scale industrialisation to this country,” he submitted.
Presiding over the plenary, the Senate President, Senator Ahmad Lawan, commended Senator Amosun for sponsoring the bill.
He, however, stressed the need for the government to create a secure environment for such a goal to be actualised to encourage investors into the country.
“We need to ensure that we provide a better security environment because if we are going to establish a national industrial park, it means accommodating more resources; we don’t have those resources that we need in our country,” the lawmaker said.
“We have to work together across all the levels of government to ensure we create and sustain a better security environment that will encourage investors.”
Thereafter, the bill was read the second time and referred to the Senate Committee on Trade and Investment to report back within four weeks for further legislative action.