BusinessDay

Dangote calls for policy implementation to drive industrialization

Aliko Dangote, president, Dangote Group, has advocated more implementation than the formulation of new government policies to maximise the potential of the country’s manufacturing sector.

He said this while delivering a paper titled “Agenda Setting for Industrialising Nigeria in the Next Decade” at the 2nd Adeola Odutola’s lecture to commemorate the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria’s (MAN) 50th Annual General Meeting (AGM).

Dangote noted that before the discovery of crude oil, civil service, textiles and agriculture industries were the largest employers of labour in Nigeria but this is no longer the case in Africa’s largest economy.

He said, “The present government policies, if fully implemented, would be enough to solve most of the problems facing the industrial sector. Therefore, a change in policy approach and strategy is needed to reposition the manufacturing sector for growth over the next 10 years.”

Also, Africa’s richest man said looking at different countries showed that industrialization boosted economic growth and raised living standards, as shown by industrialised countries’ high output and income per person.

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He stated that countries smaller than Nigeria, such as Singapore and South Korea, had an average per capita GDP of 65,233 dollars and 31,846 dollars, respectively, due to their level of industrialisation.

“It is evident that manufacturing is pivotal to industrialisation. No country in the world has ever industrialised or attained ‘developed nation status’ without having a thriving manufacturing sector,” Dangote said. “Without a doubt, manufacturing is the heartbeat of industrialisation and the bedrock for inclusive economic growth and development.”

Speaking further, Dangote noted that the manufacturing sector’s contribution to Nigeria’s GDP in recent years hovered around 9%, which he described as low. The sector’s suboptimal performance was as a result of constraints such as lack of foreign exchange, a scarcity of long-term capital, poor infrastructure, regulatory inconsistencies, insecurity and others.

However, in order to accelerate the sector’s growth, he emphasised the need to reform several factors, including security and rule of law, industry-oriented government policies, enough infrastructure, and a well-developed Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) sector.