By Merit Ibe
‘No country in the world has ever industrialised or attained ‘developed nation status’, without having a thriving manufacturing.’ These were the words of the Chief Executive Officer, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, at the second Adeola Odutola Lecture, being part of activities to mark the 50th AGM of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), yesterday, with theme : “Agenda for Nigeria’s industrialisation in the next Decade.”
The Dangote boss, who said manufacturing is the heartbeat of industrialisation and the bedrock for inclusive economic growth and development, lamented that in recent years, the sector’s contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) has hovered around nine percent, which is low and indicates that the efforts at industrialising Nigeria through manufacturing has not yet yielded the desired results.
He said any journey towards industrialisation must place strong emphasis on creating an enabling environment for manufacturing.
“Nigeria has the potential for industrialisation given its vibarnt and entrepreneurial population as well as its vast array of natural resources. When industrialisation is driven by broad based manufacturering of products for domestic consumption and export, the internal and external positions of the country will in the medium to long term become favourable. Economic growth will trend upwards, tax revenue will increase, balance of payments will be positive, external reserves will grow and the value of the Nigeria will be stable,” he said.
In his address, President of MAN, Ahmed Mansur, who welcomed dignitaries present, noted that the theme of the event was necessitated by the need to take stock of the country’s journey into industrialization so far to ascertain the gains and pain-points, highlight performance limiters, recognize the milestones and to identify learning curves and hurdles for the journey ahead.
“Clearly, all of these will enable the association to craft a robust agenda for resetting industrialisation, albeit manufacturing in Nigeria for the next 10 year.
Unveiling the blue print for the accelerated development of the manufacturing sector in Nigeria 2.0,Mansur noted that the blue print is a 10 -year-polcy-advocacy document that defines the status, structure, opportunities, constraints of manufacturing in Nigeria.
“It is backed with recommendations , roadmap targeted at growing the sector.
“The blue print seeks to address sector specifics issues.”
The Director General of the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON ), Farouk Salim, advised manufacturers to keep to standards in all their dealings.
While the Minister of Industry Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo who was represented by Adewale Bakare, Director of Industrial Development, said the
manufacturing sector acts as a catalyst that accelerates the pace of transformation and diversification of the economy and enables the country to fully utilise its endowment and depend less on foreign supply of finished goods and raw materials for its economic growth, development and sustainability.
He noted that the sector plays a pivotal role and is a vehicle for the production of good and services, creation of employment, and generation of income.
“This present administration in its quest to promote sustainable growth among other things has come up with the Nigeria Development Plan (NDP), which focuses on stimulating growth, investing in the citizens,making the economy globally competitive and diversification of the economy and promoting MSME.” The ministry has been identified as key ministry to drive the implementation of NDP.
He said the ministry would continue to pursue its five pillars towards implementation of the NDP by creating an enabling environment, Intensify the implementation of the Nigerian industrial revolution plan, Attract long term local and foreign investment, Champion the cause of Nigerian MSME as a means of creating jobs and Promoting the integration of Nigerian businesses into the global value chain.
Dignitaries at the annual event emphasised the need for government to create an enabling environment for manufacturing and revitalise ailing sectors to boost the economy