• Thursday, June 20, 2024
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BusinessDay

How Nigerian manufacturers can overcome Tech cost hurdles – Akande

Enhancing quality improvement and capacity building for African pharmaceutical manufacturers

The manufacturing sector in Nigeria has been a major contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) while providing opportunities for employment, productivity, and sustainability for organisations.

According to the Bureau of Statistics, the sub-sector is responsible for about 10 percent of total GDP annually.

Akinwunmi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), had proposed the setting up of industrial digital skills academies to reskill and retool workers for jobs of the future.

In a phone interview with Sodiq Akande, a Technology Solutions Consultant, Corporate Growth Strategist, and Business Development Professional, BusinessDay learned that one primary obstacle that manufacturers often encounter when contemplating the shift towards smart manufacturing for environmental sustainability is the initial investment required for technology adoption and infrastructure overhaul.

Read also: Nigeria’s manufacturing sector lacks depth- Yemi Kale

“Balancing these upfront expenses against the perceived long-term benefits of sustainability becomes a critical decision point, often creating hesitation or resistance among manufacturers striving to align with eco-friendly practices while ensuring financial viability.

“The first step in overcoming the obstacle of upfront costs lies in developing a tactical roadmap for technology integration. This roadmap outlines a phased approach to adopting disruptive technologies within the supply chain.”

Akande added: “Conducting a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis is crucial, this assessment goes beyond immediate financial implications, encompassing long-term returns from sustainability-driven technology adoption.

“Emphasising potential savings in energy consumption, waste reduction, and operational efficiencies, manufacturers can showcase the tangible return on investment (ROI) of sustainable practices, aligning financial gains with environmental stewardship.”

According to him, “Manufacturers need to take advantage of intra-regional growth, to initiate ideas that can work for specified human communities or groups of persons. People, technology, and processes in any organisation should be specific in encouraging a platform to elevate sustainability.”

According to the UN Global Compact, leveraging these technologies can lead to a 30 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a 50 percent decrease in energy consumption within supply chains.

Talking about the impact on supply chain operations, Akande said that the integration of disruptive technologies like Internet of Things devices and Artificial Intelligence systems in manufacturing is a catalyst for revolutionising supply chain operations, pivotal in achieving UN sustainability goals.

Read also: ‘Manufacturing sector is operating at less than 55 % capacity utilisation’

“This transformative shift not only aligns with global sustainability objectives but also marks a pivotal leap towards heralding an era where technology fuels a more eco-conscious, efficient, and responsible manufacturing ecosystem.”

Sodiq Akande has a background working for top Information Technology companies in Nigeria, advocating for technology adoption in the manufacturing, financial, oil and gas, education, and health sectors.

He is a graduate of Microbiology from Obafemi Awolowo University, an MBA candidate at San Francisco Bay University, California, and a professional member of the American Management Association, the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, the Association for Manufacturing Excellence, and the Association for Business Process Management shares his view on the challenges manufacturers face in adopting technology.