HC Deb 11 December 1946 vol 431 c1165
79. Mr. Turton

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what steps the Government are taking to encourage Africans to embark upon industrial enterprises in Nigeria.

Mr. Creech Jones

It is the policy of the Government of Nigeria to do what is possible to encourage and foster African enterprises. A Department of Commerce and Industry has already been established which will

  1. (a) give industrial and commercial advice to individual Cooperative societies and native administrations;
  2. (b) initiate industrial schemes with a view to transferring them to African enterprises when economically established;
  3. (c) encourage and advise all African industries, particularly home and village industries;
  4. (d) provide trade and commercial intelligence.
A Local Development Board has also been set up to finance industrial and other development schemes by native authorities, Cooperative societies, planning authorities and other approved bodies.

In addition, a ten-year plan of technical education, which will cost over £1,500,000, is being put into operation to ensure an adequate supply of artisans commercial workers and technicians for the industrial and trade development of Nigeria.

Mr. Turton

Is the Minister relying on the United Africa Company, rather than on African enterprise for economic development?

Mr. Creech Jones

We are doing everything possible to encourage African enterprise.

Mr. Keeling

Will the Minister make any protest against the action of the Board of Trade in prohibiting the importation of any West African furniture which is not cheap and nasty?

Mr. Erroll

Will the Minister give an assurance that there is no threat of nationalisation to these industries in West Africa?

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