The inability of Nigeria and other African countries to provide food security as well as improve access to raw materials needed in the manufacturing sector has been hinged on weak linkages between agricultural and industrial policies.
This was the view of the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Akufo-Addo and some other stakeholders during the yearly general meeting of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), in Lagos, yesterday.
According to the Ghanaian President who was represented by Senior Minister of the Republic, Yaw Osafo-Maafo, agricultural policies must feed into the industrialisation policies of any country in order to produce enough to feed citizens and particularly feed industries sustainably.
Akufo-Addo, who was the guest speaker, stressed the need for African nations to build capacity to support effective value addition as part of efforts to enhance revenues position on the international market.
“This calls for policy harmonization, coordination, and effective collaboration between the public and private sectors to drive effective and time tested industrial framework to fully utilize our natural resource to the best of international expectations.
“Our biggest challenge as inhabitants of this resourceful continent Africa has been our inability to transform the abundant natural resources into opportunities for creation of jobs and wealth.
“The continent boasts of young, determined and highly educated people across all sectors and yet we have not been able to get the right mix of policies to fully unearth and develop the entrepreneurial talents that abound in Nigeria in particular and on the continent.
“This is the bane that we need to fix. It can be done for it is not a rocket science to ensure a well-balanced and thought through policy-mix to mainstream industrialization in Africa. Our lazy approach of always rushing to the international market to sell our resources in their raw state which fetch us peanuts must stop.
“It is far better to leave our resources untapped till our future generations rise up to the challenge and conscientiously develop the best policy-mix that prioritises industrialization as the most convenient cause to drive the much needed effects in our socio-economic development”, he added.
On his part, the immediate Past President of MAN, Dr. Frank Jacobs acknowledged some of the limitations in Nigeria’s manufacturing sector, saying that manufacturers are still faced with numerous challenges that are largely responsible for the not too impressive performance of the sector and the un-competitiveness of Nigerian manufactured products.
Jacobs then urged government to speed up actions that would lead to the quick resolution of these constraints in order to reposition and further improve the performance of the manufacturing sector.
“The manufacturing sector has proven to be the heart of industrialization and driver of sustainable and inclusive economic growth in developed and developing economies. In fact, no economy will experience sustained growth without a vibrant manufacturing sector”, he added.
The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajia Aisha Abubakar noted that the Federal Government would not relent in its intervention efforts to aid the growth of the real sector, even as she urged for monitoring schemes to evaluate successes recorded and lingering challenges.
Source: G Business