By Jerry Emmanson, Abuja –
The United Nations (UN) has called for concerted efforts to industrialise the country, saying industrialization remains key to full contribution to total poverty eradication and economic growth.
Speaking during the 2017 African Industrialization Day on the theme: African Industrial Development: A Pre–Condition For Effective & Sustainable Continental Free Trade, held in Abuja, the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, lamented that industrial development of many African nations is not realized due to market constraints and other factors such as trade and custom barriers, free access to finance and the harmonization of policies at the continental level.
The UN scribe who was represented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, UNIDO Regional Director, Mr Jean Bakole stressed that order for the CFTA to reach its potential in empowering African economies, a favorable business environment, including social inclusion, business in and adequate industrial policies, is necessary.
“The private sector also plays a major part in the development of new innovative technologies and business practices. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) further contribute a projected 80 per cent of the continent’s Gross Domestic Product and support an estimated 90 per cent of all jobs.
The Minister Of Industry, Trade & Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah in his speech said we must deal with the things necessary for industrialization. Without industrialization, Africa will be struggling with primary goods and people will be looking for countries in Africa to dump finished goods.
“We have to consume and also export what we produce as a country. We must increase Africa trade. When we talk about economic diversification, there’s no better way to do than through industrialization by creating a network of value adding ecosystem.
“In order to be a competitive economy, the Nigerian government is currently working on an industrial revolution plan in collaboration with UNIDO to develop programme of actions in key sectors like agro processing, oil and gas, metal and solid minerals, construction etc. ” It’s time for Africans to be victors, he added.
Also speaking, The vice president, African Global Union, Comrade Issa Aremu said that there can be no industrialization without electrification.
“It is commendable that the ERGP sets to reduce petroleum products imports by 80 per cent in 2018. That’s the way to create jobs, decent and sustainable jobs in the petroleum sector,” he said.
Aremu averred that whatever forms of Industrialization, first or fourth industrial revolution there must be decent sustainable jobs for the workers with job security, living wages and living pensions.
He added that businesses and owners of capital are employing robots, machines and computers to replace workers in order to maximize profits and lower wages or even deny pay all together.
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