Deputy secretary general of the United Nations (UN), Amina Mohammed, has said Nigeria stands to benefit greatly from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which will improve the quality of goods and services and increase Nigeria’s competitiveness both in national and international markets.
Mohammed stated this at the high-level conversation on industrialisation and sustainable development, organised by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), with the theme: ‘Industrialisation A Pathway To Achieving The Sustainable Development Goals’.
She said inclusive and sustainable industrial development is key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which lie at the heart of economic growth and creating decent jobs in Nigeria.
She said: “COVID-19 has derailed the progress across all the 17 SDGs in 2020, about 124 million were pushed back to poverty and some 255 million jobs were lost worldwide. Therefore sustainable recovery must be guided by the SDGs and the UN stands ready to support Nigeria in harnessing industry and making progress towards the goals.”
She stressed that MAN’s support would be crucial to ensuring Nigeria takes profit in the fourth industrial revolution through the circular economy and efficient use of resources to reach zero waste as called for by SDG 7, 9 and 12 to achieve its 2030 agenda.
The directing staff, National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Prof. Tunji Olaopa, also stressed the need for Nigeria to creatively confront and resolve the country’s high consumption culture against its minimal production capacity.
Olaopa called for greater adoption of clean, green and environment friendly industrial processes reliant on alternative energy sources to save the planet.
“As a country going forward, it means that our entire policy architecture must be redirected towards consumption production discrepancy.
“This means focus on the Local Content Act especially the clauses on value creation, developing of private sector capacity and utilisation of local resources in industrial activities,” he said.
The secretary to the government of the federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, reiterated the government’s commitment to protecting the interest of manufacturers for the sector’s improved contributions to the Nigerian economy.
Mustapha said there is an intricate link between industrialisation and the 17 SDGs, saying, “global economic recovery from COVID-19 pandemic has taught us the need for reengineering through industrialisation and the government is ready to address issues the sector is faced with so as to record growth not just in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) but in the actual lives of Nigerians.
“To this effect, we are ready to support a green economy, supported by green industries to propel green growth.”
The president of MAN, Mansur Ahmed, explained that the session was premised on the urgent need as industrialists to examine and prioritise the nexus between industrialisation and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).