Nigeria @61: Expert calls for focus on industrialization

By Chimezie Godfrey

A Governance & Development Expert, Dr Samson Osagie has called for focus on industrialization as Nigeria celebrates its 61st independence anniversary.

In a statement, he noted that October 1, 2021, marks Nigeria’s 61st Independence Anniversary with a never-ending quest for a direction that gives the citizenry a definite and tangible value for their collective investment in the Nigerian State.

Dr Osagie recalled that at independence, the country rising from the ashes colonialism looked forward to a great and prosperous nation, regional leader and a well respected global player in the international system.

He however, stressed that government and governance have been most focused on power acquisition and power retention with minimal attention to Industrial and economic development the nation.

He said,”With ravaging poverty, making the country the world poverty capital, intractable insecurity, making life worthless, religious and ethnic tension, tearing apart National leadership, corruption ravaging every facet our national life and inflicting a cancerous blow on the fabric the country and the insensitivity the political elites to national malaise, etcetera etcetera Nigeria has continued to regressed on all fronts thus leaving the country to fate and chance.

“Yet, the story can be reversed. With abundant human, natural and intangible resources a focus on Industrialization by governments at all levels can change the narrative.”

The Development Expert pointed out that a radical and surgical move away from primordial and conservative approach to governance have the capacity to leapfrog the nation into harnessing its potential to produce what citizens need, reduce dependence on imports, retain capital in Nigeria and nigerianize the commanding heights the economy.

“What are we doing with few agricultural crops? What are we doing with our crude oil? What do we do with our various solid minerals- bauxite, limestone, gold, clay, gypsum, iron ore, salt, zinc, lead,
Cassiterite(tin ore), dolomite, tantalite, marble, Magnesite, kaolin, bentonite, oil and gas, uranium, lead, zinc, lignite,Phosphate, glass, sand, lead, lignite. wolfram, columbite, uranium, magnesium, barite, coal, gemstone, to mention just a few them scattered all over the country?

“Many these endowments are either exploited by foreigners with local comprados for exports as mere raw materials or illegally mined for a few unpatriotic business persons for their personal enrichment.

“We can recreate our sense purpose by realizing that in the words Dr Caesar Osaheni Iyayi in his new book The ABC

“How To Industrialize Nigeria when he said :
” We must take urgent steps to transform Nigeria from an agrarian society to a manufacturing economy.

“There is no alternative. It is bend or break. If we fail to industrialise, we will never be able to defend ourselves and shall therefore be at the mercy foreign powers that dealt ruthlessly with our forefathers.

“If we fail to industrialise, then we are doomed to suffer another wave slavery or extinction on African soil”. He went further to posit and accurately so that there is no country in the world that was Industrialize(developed) by foreigners.

“Consequently, methinks that the October 1, 2021 must therefore become a watershed for our leaders and citizens to move away from the unbridled quest for power acquisition to National Economic development and Industrialization.

“I like to see more debates on Industrialization models and strategies rather than power rotation,* he said.

Dr Osagie noted that it will be most beneficial to Nigerians to see leaders compete on development indices rather than throwing banters on how to retain power at national and sub national levels.

He stressed that the people want to see what tangible progress rather than manufactured indices which translate to visible impact on their lives.

“It is the expectation the people that government encourages more Nigerian private entrepreneurs to embark on industrial ventures by employing expatriates in areas deficit technical expertise.

“Nigeria needs to Industrialize. Our country needs to move away from the realm potentialities. Admirably, Mr President appreciate this in his Independence broadcast when he said “I fully understand the anxiety many Nigerians on the inability this country to go beyond a never-ending potential for becoming a great nation to an actually great one,” he said

He further said Nigerians, a resilient, hardworking, skilful and dedicated people with a propensity for positive advancement in an enabling environment needs a pragmatic political leadership to lead the way.

He said,”Unless and until we have such a leadership that breaks away from the culture unworkable governance model, extraneous matters of ethnicity and religion, unnecessary politicization of service delivery, building industries, infrastructures and workable institutions will continue to be a mirage.

“Today, we are witnesses to how the pragmatic leadership of the late Lee Kuan Yew and his successors in Singapore moved away the country to a first world. Singapore, with little or no natural resources developed its human resources to attain its current industrial status.

“Our survival as a Nation depends on our ability and commitment to Industrialize Nigeria. We cannot wait any longer.
The time is now.”