with Rev Canon Echi Nwogu
This is definitive progress towards real industrialization after more than 40 years of lip service to industrial development. We have suffered a wholesale lack of patriotic zeal and political will to pursue meaningful technological development and industrialization. Government’s putrid hand in business has been decimated by mediocrity, shallow policy formulation and implementation. Government actually has no businesses setting up factories of businesses with civil servants and greedy political jobless board members treating the enterprises of government as private ATMs. Our governments must learn to focus on political entrepreneurship. This is the mindset of politicians and government officials seeing their role in economic development as that of facilitators for private businesses to sprout and bloom. Their responsibility is to provide enabling environment and conducive policies that engender business formation and operations. Nigeria has been facing a hostile environment for private businesses as they are forced to suffer multiple taxation by federal, state and local governments. In addition to this they suffer so much harassment from security agents on the roads, customs officials and other agencies who in their greed see businesses as other avenues for multiple personal income. Again the lack of power and infrastructure has made running businesses and industrial concerns in Nigeria a nightmare.
Sure this government has made definitive foundations for industrial development to go beyond rhetoric s to actualities. In the transport sector we see the roads improvements. In the Railways we see a revival of the railways. In the supply of petrol and diesel we see a stabilization of supply. In agriculture, we see giant strides in the streamlining of supply of fertilizer directly to the farmers instead of middlemen cornering all the subsidies. Food production is being encouraged and export potentials for cash crops and food is being promoted. Access to foreign exchange has been stabilized and streamlined for importers. Customs clearing bottlenecks is being attended to. Many small sacle manufacturing has been going on all over the country. A look into the industrial production operations going on in Lagos, Lagos Ibadan expressway, Aba, Nnewi, Onitsha and many other cities is heartwarming. And now the local car assembly and manufacturing is crowning the industrial success story.
After the colossal failures of the government sponsored Volkswagen in Lagos, Peugeot in Kaduna, Leyland in Ibadan, Styr in Bauchi, Benz in Enugu, we now see the resurrection of the Nigerian Automotive dreams to reality in the Nnewi motorcycle manufacturing exploits and the Innosson vehicle wonders. More than 20 car manufacturers are now falling over themselves to set up local assembly and eventual car manufacturing plants in Nigeria.
WHO SAYS NIGERIA IS NOT MAKING PROGRESS. THAT PERSON MUST BE BLIND AND DECEITFUL. The future of Nigerian industrial development lies with the private sector not the hands of government in setting up businesses for corrupt executives and officials turning in no time. Government has no business creating unproductive jobs and under employing and demeaning labour by having an army of civil servants who mill around doing nothing. Better to set up a social welfare scheme for the unemployed that allows them to collect upkeep welfare packages while they have their time to strive to better their lot and look for self employment or jobs in private businesses that will sprout as government makes the enabling environment conducive and alluring to investors. Nigeria is at threshold of industrial take off with the private sector leading and the government facilitating and patriotically promoting.