Mr Oluwafemi Akintola, a civil engineer, has called on the Federal Government to invest more on industrial, agriculture and tourism sectors to address the current economic challenges of Nigeria.
Akintola said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ilorin on Tuesday, against the backdrop of the need for diversification of the economy.
“I urge the government to invest more on industrial, agriculture and tourism sectors for a better nation building,’’ he said.
“Back in industrial revolution, the introduction of technologies; transportation and manufacturing had a deep impact on the social, economic and cultural conditions of times.
“Inventors defined the wealth of a nation while patriotic citizens played roles in building and upholding a nation, and together, both pushed the world forward.
“In nation building, some areas – industrial, agriculture and tourism – have to be improved on in the process of revamping the country’s economy.
“Industrialisation can simply be defined as the process of transforming an economy based on extractive activities into one based on manufacturing, thereby creating an industry in the sector, for example fishing and mining.
“Nigeria is blessed with vast natural and mineral resources beyond oil; we should begin to tap into these resources for overhaul of the nation’s economy.
“Industrialisation will increase the nation’s gross national product, employment opportunities, improve international trade and stimulation of other sectors, technological development and infrastructure development as well as improve standard of living.
“Investing in these sectors will attract local and foreign investors, provide employment opportunities for the teeming unemployed, generation of income and source of livelihood.
‘’It will be a source of foreign exchange, help in promoting our cultural heritage and ultimately become a major revenue generation for government.”
The engineer stressed the need for effective maintenance of infrastructure as a task that must be accomplished in revamping the nation’s economy.
He said that the step would prevent damaging and vandalising of civil structures critical for the nation’s infrastructure development.
Akintola also called on the private sector to do more in terms of ensuring adequate transport facilities, power supply, basic amenities, hospitality and adequate storage facilities.
“The inadequate transport facility has hindered the growth of industries, frequent disruption of power supply in industrial areas by grounding their activities.
‘’There is also lack of effective storage facilities that has hindered the mass production of agricultural produce.’’
He also identified lack of adequate electricity, pipe-borne water and proper health care, as some of the factors discouraging people from investing in tourism sector.
“Nigerians should be more open to hospitality, if we are going to succeed in our task of nation building.’’