Nigeria’s govt. should declare 2024 the National Year of Manufacturing with ambitions to boost industrial output - The People's Voice


Sunday, January 21, 2024

Nigeria’s govt. should declare 2024 the National Year of Manufacturing with ambitions to boost industrial output

By Our Correspondent

 Anywhere you go on planet earth, Africans are regarded as inferior beings. It is no accident this happens because when you account for 18% of the world’s population but only 1% of its industrial output, you are inviting people to insult you 

 We are considered a burden and parasitic leaches by industrialised countries. Make no mistake about it, this will continue for as long as we remain an eternal consumer producing nothing

 I am actually glad that Covid-19 has shone a mirror in our faces and shown who we really are. Responsible nations can take care of the their people in trying times, while irresponsible and parasitic ones like Nigeria cannot. Nigeria was waiting for Coronavirus vaccines to be delivered to her, while serious nations were busy churning out the vaccine 

As a people, we need to make a solemn pledge to work our way up to the high table of humanity. Have we ever set ourselves industrial output goals like wanting to account for 15% of global steel production and being responsible for manufacturing 20% of the world’s railway carriages?

Given that about 70% of the Nigerian budget goes on recurrent costs like salaries, transport, building maintenance, administration, etc, very little goes on infrastructure. How on earth do we expect to manufacture with no infrastructure like power, rail, roads, shipping ports, cargo terminals, etc? 

 As a nation, Nigeria needs an annual budget of at least $100bn to take care of her 200m people. Our shameless dependence on crude oil means that we generate only about half of this amount yearly 

 After World War Two, Germany was in utter ruins, with her cities bombed, her industry in tatters, the population dispirited and no government in place. However, within five years, the nation was back on her feet, with both West and East Germany becoming thriving economies again. Nigeria simply has to follow suit if we want to get out of this rut

I am perplexed as to why we do not have a minister of manufacturing with a mandate to open industrial parks in every one of our 774 local government areas 

 When you do the arithmetic, you cannot but despair. We will need something like 15% annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth year-on-year over the next decade to get out of this morass. It is either that or we perish

 No matter how you look at it, Nigeria needs to launch a radical and unprecedented industrial economic diversification plan. It is either that or we descend into becoming another Somalia or Afghanistan. With no jobs, our youth will revert to armed robbery, kidnapping, communal violence, ethnic hatred, religious bigotry and terrorism. Now is the time to start thinking about how to avoid that doomsday scenario.

1 comment:

  1. The minister of trade and investment is suffice for the task.