The Acting Managing Director, Bank of Industry, Waheed Olagunju, has said that industrialisation is the best way to diversify the economy.
Speaking at the 32nd Omolayole Management Lecture in Lagos, he emphasised that industrialisation, value-addition and processing will foster a higher quality of life for Nigerians.
Giving an analysis of the economy in the past 56 years, he said Nigeria is not occupying its rightful position compared with other countries with fewer natural resources.
Comparing the economy of Mexico with the Nigerian economy, he said that between the mid-70s and 2014, Mexico had diversified its economy away from oil with 80 per cent of its revenue coming from the manufacturing sector in 2014, against 20 per cent it generated from the sector in the mid-70s.
For Nigeria, he stated that its dependence on crude oil exported which accounted for 90 per cent of it revenue in the mid- 70s had remained the same till 2014.
“But we have continued to be dependent on oil. Mexico has been able to diversify its economy successfully. Manufacturing must account for a larger proportion of our GDP, ” Olagunju added.
Speaking on the theme:”Made-in-Nigeria: Vehicle for the diversification to the economy,” he emphasised the possibility of boost the country’s GDP with infrastructural development and investment in the manufacturing sector.
Dr. Michael Omolayole, in whom the lecture was done in his honour, stressed that production and consumption of indigenous products are the solutions to Nigeria’s economic recession.
He said: “We must consume what we make and stop importing food. It is a shame that we still import so much food and yet we can grow practically everything. Manufacturing is going to be the saviour of this country at the end of the day. The only reason why we are not industrialised till today is because we have never got electricity right.”
The President, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management, Mr. Anthony Arabome, called for increased advocacy to reduce the country’s dependence on oil and encourage locally produced goods.