By Segun Adejumo
The Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdul-Rasheed Adewale Akanbi, Telu I, has charged the Federal Government to urgently begin the process of industrializing the nation.
According to Oluwo, it is very imperative for the government to formulate a policy to consider industrialization of the nation as topmost priority to help the national economy get out of recession.
Oluwo stated this in a press release signed by his Media Adviser, Oriyomi Akinbote, on Monday.
The frontline monarch also advocated for outsourcing and involvement of Nigerians in diaspora in implementing the policy for it to have a significant positive effect on the nation’s ailing economy.
He maintained that it is time President Mohammadu Buhari and his team looked beyond agriculture for the survival of the economy, both in the short and long runs.
Oba Akanbi stated that the nation has no excuse to allow non-performance of the economy despite its huge population and diverse mineral resources in the bowels of the land.
Oluwo said Nigeria has a great lesson to learn from the history of China on how it emerged a leading world economy from obscurity in the non too distant past through creative management of its resources, particularly her huge population.
Describing industrialization of the economy as the panacea to numerous challenges facing the nation, he noted that many jobs, direct and indirect, would be created and the youths would be meaningfully engaged and consequently reduce the evergrowing crime rate.
He said: “As much as I believe that agriculture is good and lucrative I don’t think it would give us a reasonable speed as the industrialization in firming up the ailing economy. Let’s think about how industrialization has brought an unprecedented high turn over of jobs and revenue into the coffers of the Chinese government lately.
“Many American and European companies now have their plants in China because of many economic advantages – cheap labour and other incentives from the Chinese government which give them the leverage to be competitive in various world markets.
“Nigeria could do the same as China and also beat China because of additional opportunities that we have. We have abundant raw materials to support our production lines. The population is there for us as the biggest black nation with a huge home market for end consumers and also for export to other African nations and the rest of the world.
“Nigeria unlike China is also strategically located and closer to Europe and America, where investements could be attracted.
“So, I want to advise that we leave tiling of the land for our neigbours like Niger Republic, Mali, Chad and so on and let us focus industrilization because of its many inherent advantages. Nigeria does not have sufficient lands for agriculture but we do for factories and industries that can employ more than agriculture.
“For instance, the size of Nigeria is not up to a province in Canada and many states in America. Our children will also learn technologies when they work in some of these factories once they have their plants here.”
Oba Akanbi advised President Buhari to leverage on the warm reception and confidence of the international community in his administration’s anti-corruption war and quickly move to attract investments beyond the shores of the nation.
He further advised Mr. President to collaborate with traditional rulers, whom he said could facilitate large expanse of lands in their domains for factories and industries to operate.
The traditional ruler, who urged the Federal Government to systematically improve infrastructures, said experience has shown that foreign investors are ready to come forward once they know there would be incentives from the government, including tax holiday and other necessary supports.
He added that many of the prospective investors could go as far as providing solutions in the immediate for teething challenges that could impede their operations once their overheads are nothing compared with their net profits.
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