The Federal Government of Nigeria has called on private sector players particularly in manufacturing to accelerate the adoption of industrialisation for improved productivity, as this will have ripple effect on economic growth.
The government made the call at a roundtable on industrialisation in Africa, organised by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) themed “Positioning African industries for economic transformation and continental free trade” held in Lagos on Thursday.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, in his keynote address said it has become urgent to accelerate the adoption of industrialisation to hasten growth and also catch up with constantly improving activities in the global space.
He added that the commencement of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) provides a platform to leverage if industrial development is to take off in Africa, because it offers a wider market, and economies of scale which will put innovation and increase capacity to use.
“Industrialisation remains a key priority for African countries hence we must take policy actions to create an environment in which businesses can thrive starting with the adoption of suitable macroeconomic and industrial policies,” he said
Osinbajo urged manufacturers to expand their capacity and become more competitive through the use of value addition and regional value chain in thre production system in order to withstand stiff competition and boost production. He added that the regional value chain can be utilised for creation, design, raw material supply, processing, transportation, storage, marketing and sales.
“To unleash our full industrial potential African countries must embark on an audacious agenda preferable driven by private sector led investments to ensure the economic transformation of the continent specifically through industrialisation,” Niyi Adebayo, Nigeria’s minister of industry, trade and investment said.
Adebayo advised that stakeholders in the public and private sectors collaborate and proffer solutions to the lag industrialisation as well as the competitiveness of players in the manufacturing sector.
Segun Ajayi-Kadir, director-general, MAN in his address said industrialisation is a catalyst for economic growth, development as well as exceptional manufacturing capacity and competitiveness, adding that most developed economies leveraged on this to attain their present status.
He acknowledged that unfortunately, developing economies especially in Africa have very weak manufacturing base and low industrial development despite the establishment of several industrial policies and reforms.
“The rate of industrialisation in Africa has been slow and unimpressive, this is evident in its low industrial capacity utilization, meagre manufacturing activity and decrease in export of manufactured products within and outside the continent. This has also caused it to fall behind in global manufacturing,” he said
He said that this was a cause for concern as industrialisation in the global economy advances and recommended that stakeholders prioritise adoption of industrialisation for growth.