Expert Advocates Raw Materials-based Cluster Sector

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President, Association of Agricultural and Industrial Entrepreneurs of Nigeria (AIEN), Chuku Wachuku

Oluchi Chibuzor

The raw materials-based clusters if effectively harness in line with the various Agricultural Development Programmes will generate multiple employments in the country.

The President, Association of Agricultural and Industrial Entrepreneurs of Nigeria (AIEN), Chuku Wachuku, disclosed this recently while speaking to journalists in Lagos.

Wachuku, said the cluster initiative highlighted shared industrial facilities and would encourage value chain operators to manage limited resources, share expertise as well as operate and address common challenges including market, innovations, product improvement, among others at a least cost.

According to him, it is a strategy intended to foster development of value-added products from the abundant local resources, as well as encourage the establishment of viable small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that are adaptable to local contents’ development in Nigeria.

Wachuku, also said the clusters initiative in the pilot stage was expected to create about two hundred and fifty entrepreneurs per cluster per local government and the primary target is to create sixty thousand primary entrepreneurs.

He said the primary targeted pilot local government would involve 60,000 members of the clusters, noting that each cluster would have 250 people in 250 hectares adding that they would be producing crops of advantage in their area.

Meanwhile, the organisation is working with some banks and has reached an agreement, he disclosed adding that an ecosystem that would guarantee recovery was already in place.

He said: “Within the economy itself, we are going to energise the industrial base, many industries are shut down because first the dollar went up and they could not compete and as a resultant material became cheaper.

“Now these industries were shut and they were creating jobs outside Nigeria. When we now create a cluster of cotton it will now trigger the cotton industries to open up again and people will run them.

“That is how you create employment and when you now employ people they earn wages and each of these clusters be it groundnut, maize, cassava, would employ people,” he explained.