By- Oluwafunke Ishola
The Bank of Industry (BoI) says that concerted efforts to achieve robust economic diversification will bridge the 56 years of industrial disconnect in the country.
Mr Waheed Olagunju, the Acting Managing Director of BoI, said Nigeria had no business being poor if it was properly industrialised.
Olagunju said this in Lagos during the 32nd Omolayole Management Lecture with the theme; “Made-in-Nigeria: Vehicle to Diversification of the Economy”.
According to him, Nigeria needs to be seriously industrialised, adding that the difference between rich and poor countries is their level of industrialisation.
He said that the consensus was that relative to its potential, Nigeria’s economy had underperformed in the last 56 years considering its natural resources.
Olagunju said that the solution to economic growth and sustainable development was adopting the strategy of Commodity-Based Industrialisation plan.
He said that the development impact and return on investment would be higher utilising this strategy.
“Our leaders at independence loved us. They replicated everything they saw in the Western world to develop the country.
“We can still replicate this; It is not too late.
“The benefit of history is that if you do not know how you got to where you are, you cannot know how to get out of it.
“We must hold our destiny in hands,” Olagunju said.
He said that embracing locally produced goods would eradicate the norm of exporting jobs and prosperity, while importing unemployment into the country.
Mr Anthony Arabome, the Chairman, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM), said that there was the need for paradigm shift and change of mindset to patronising locally produced goods.
Arabome, who was represented by Mr Udom Inoyo, the Vice-President of the Institute, said that disregarding Made-in-Nigeria goods had eroded the country’s share values overtime.
Dr Michael Omolayole, a management expert, said that the easiest way out of economic recession was to expand the country’s agricultural production thereby reducing importation of food.
He said that preference should be given to locally produced goods to create shared wealth for Nigerians.