Doris Uzoka-Anite, Nigeria’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, has revealed that the future of manufacturing relies on the country’s ability to embrace technological advancements and innovation.
Speaking at the 2023 annual Nigeria Manufacturing and Equipment Expo co-located with the Nigerian Raw Materials Exposition on Tuesday, Uzoka-Anite said people must leverage emerging trends such as artificial intelligence, automation, robotics and the Internet of Things to enhance their manufacturing processes, improve efficiency, and drive productivity.
“By adopting these cutting-edge technologies, we can boost the competitiveness of our local manufacturers and position Nigeria as a global manufacturing hub. Furthermore, the future of manufacturing also lies in harnessing the potential of renewable energy sources,” she said.
She added that as the country transitions to a greener economy, people must promote the use of clean and sustainable energy in our manufacturing processes.
“This will not only help reduce our carbon footprint but also create new job and investment opportunities in the renewable energy sector.”
According to the minister, the country must prioritise the development of its raw materials sector to support the manufacturing industry.
“By focusing on value addition and local sourcing, we can reduce our reliance on imported raw materials and improve the overall competitiveness of our products. This will also contribute to the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises and empower local entrepreneurs to participate actively in the manufacturing value chain,” she said.
The expo ‘Future Manufacturing: Building a Sustainable Roadmap to the Industrialisation of Nigeria’ created a platform for stakeholders in the raw materials supply chain to synergise, display and trade in available resources and raw materials with the users of these products.
“The theme is informed by the unprecedented rate in which our world is changing in terms of innovative technologies, shifting customer expectations, as well as increasing social awareness of gender equity and restoration of previously marginalized communities,” Otunba Meshioye, president of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, said.
He added that the major shifts have a considerable impact on the future of the manufacturing sector and that if manufacturers can efficiently balance a combination of efficient economies of production and supply chains, strong and reputable products, loyal customers, an established logistics network, as well as reliable on-line business elements, they will be well-positioned in the future to compete favourably in the industrial marketplace.
“Business-friendly trade agreements; Industry 4.0; enforcement of policies empowering start-up and female manufacturers, in addition to governmental funding solutions, to name a few, are pivotal factors demonstrating a positive and thriving manufacturing future,” he added.