The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enalema yesterday said he played no part in the appointment of Ugo Ikembam as the Graduate Employment Project (GEP) Consultant, a Word Bank programwe.
He said there was an open bidding, where Ugo Ikemba who is the present consultant came second. He said: “The person that came first on the bidding list gave the World Bank conditions, that he has to be paid in foreign currency, and they refused, that was how Ugo Ikemba got the job.
“I need to put this controversy to rest. I did not appoint the Consultant, he went through the process like all others. He got the offer after the man that came first refused to accept the job.
Enelama said the government is working on functional free trade zones. “We are working on three economic zones, the Eyimba City Park, Kano City Park and Calabar Free Trade Zone, saying this will promote employment and give youths the opportunity to acquire skills. We are also working on consistent policy and initiative and transparency.
He said trade, market access and trade facilitation have positioned the industry to be competitive. “I want to state here that trade facilitation efforts are all connected.
“Trade remedies, protecting the economy from dumping so that ECOWAS rules are not abused. The government is also using the social intervention fund that relates to Small and Medium Enterprise and SMSEs.”