BY TAOFEEK LAWAL, Abuja
The Federal Government has been urged to shift its focus on the manufacturing sector to grow the economy, benefit the population and to create employment opportunities for the unemployed.
The President, Nigerian Economic Society (NES), Professor Ben Aigbokhan, stated this at a press conference to herald the 58th annual conference of the society which holds in Abuja between September 26 to 28, 2017 with the theme; ‘The Imperatives of Industrialization in Nigeria’.
According to Professor Aigbokhan, Nigerian economy has been so monocultural and skewed structurally towards the oil sector. He said the industrial sector is one of the key indicators to measure a growing economy. Developing the manufacturing sector, he noted is a key factor to economic growth for a country like Nigeria. He however commended the present government especially the Ministry of Budget and Planning for keying into the NES recommendations which has helped the economy to move out recession.
He said, “We are concerned that the economy has been so monocultural and so skewed structurally towards the oil sector and needed to expand. We raised that last year for discussion and we are happy to note that since that conference we noticed a concerted initiative that government has taken since that time especially in the agricultural sector, solid mineral sector and the small and medium scale sub sector. This reflects our theme of argument being considered and we feel our effort was not wasted.”
“The modern economy is known more with its industrial base, that is, the manufacturing base. The recession we went through was because of our mono economy and the population suffered. The importing of manufacturing goods mainly was the crux of the hardship we are going through. A big proportion of manufacturing goods had to be imported and that made the people to feel the impact of the recession the more, “he added.
He advised that the second leg of diversification should really focus on industrialization to finally move out of recession. Expected at the conference are the Emir of Kano, HRH Muhammadu Sanusi II, former CBN Governor, Professor Charles Soludo among others.