Massive Importation Stifles Industrialisation In Nigeria

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Massive Importation Stifles Industrialisation In Nigeria

Post  nex on Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:49 pm

About 90 percent of the industrial raw materials required for production in Nigeria are being imported, Peter Onwualu, director general of the Raw Materials Research and Development Council has said.

Mr. Onwualu, speaking at the 13th Herbert Macaulay Memorial Lecture held at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in Enugu State yesterday, said massive importation has had a destabilising effect on the economy and the society.

"This uncontrolled importation has also worsened the situation of the industries, which has led to low capacity utilisation, outright closures and relocation of many industries to other countries with more favourable economic environments," said Mr. Onwualu.

"The social consequence of this is unemployment, poverty, restiveness, conflicts and more recently, kidnapping."

Challenges

The director general suggested that Nigeria needs to progressively increase local manufacturing and the industrial use of raw materials from the present 5 -15 percent to at least 70 percent to enable the country achieve Vision 20:2020.

Mr. Onwualu said the council was promoting investments and skill acquisition in raw materials development, though he admitted that these interventions were yet to have the desired impact. He also said the council was facing some major challenges to fulfilling these goals including poor engineering infrastructure, poor natural systems of innovation, inadequate skills and training centres, the absence of basic metal industries, power cuts, poor access to funds by SMEs, poor research-industry linkage and poor commercialization of research results.

However, Mr. Onwualu was optimistic. He said that the right approach to addressing this problem would be to increase efforts and concentrate on resource-based industries where the nation had a comparative advantage.

Strategies for success

The director suggested other strategies that could move the sector forward, would include implementing the new national raw material policy, the establishment of a national fund for innovation and competitiveness for industries, a university of natural resources, industrial parks in higher learning institutions and adequate funding for engineering applications research in processing raw materials.

"It is my belief that if these and other interventions are implemented, it can lead to the emergence of thousands of engineering-based industries producing most of the required raw materials for local industries and indeed, competitive finished products. This can make Nigeria a global player in manufacturing and most of the challenges confronting the country today would have been overcome."
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nex

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