• Monday, June 17, 2024
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Nigeria should leverage manufacturing, technology to accelerate post pandemic recovery – Experts

Nigeria should leverage manufacturing, technology to accelerate post pandemic recovery – Experts

Experts have advised the need for the Nigerian economy to effectively utilize the manufacturing sector refined with industrialization and technology to accelerate recovery and also drive productivity post pandemic.

This was discussed at the Nigerian British chamber of commerce (NBCC)’s maiden trade conference and exhibition, themed ‘fast-tracking productivity leveraging technology’ held at Eko hotel and suites, Lagos.

The experts unanimously agreed that crucial sectors such as manufacturing as well as technology now serve as a means to achieving productivity, sustainability, growth, and development as economies and businesses make a rebound post-pandemic.

Olukayode Pitan, CEO, Bank of Industry (BOI) said that Nigeria, like many countries around the world, has not been immune to the economic headwinds presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, hence it is essential that all (non-oil) sectors particularly manufacturing are utilized to boost productivity, create employment opportunities, and enable the country to be more self-sufficient and less import-dependent.

“The Manufacturing sector is the gateway to industrialization through substantial forward and backward linkages with other sectors, providing a wealth of opportunities for suppliers, distributors, retailers,” Pitan represented by Simon Aranonu, executive director of large enterprises at BOI said.

Ed Ubong, managing director, Shell Nigeria Gas (SNG), said in the last three decades the world has witnessed the emergence of global economic giants in Asia driven mostly, by industrialization which is proof that it is fundamental for sustainable and inclusive growth and can only happen when there is vibrant manufacturing, energy, and IT sector.

Read also: How cleaner energy in manufacturing can improve productivity, better environment

“There is no doubt that industrialization and technology are key to economic growth and development in Nigeria, across the world, experience shows that only a few countries have been able to grow their economies without deliberate, focused and considerable investment in the “tech” industry,” he said.

Speaking on technology, Lamin Manjang CEO, Standard Chartered Nigeria said the use of technology affects businesses significantly especially in terms of payments and transactions, noting that it also offers unlimited opportunities for market reach while reducing cost.

“The opportunities available in adopting digital banking include increased market reach leveraging virtual presence, increased productivity and efficiency, cost reduction, greater cross-sell opportunities, richer and more precise data on clients, among many other things,” Manjang who was represented by James Shorungbe, head of digital banking, SCB said.

He said when businesses are able to boost productivity and efficiency while leveraging technology, they become more productive and it rubs off on the economy in terms of growth and development.

As businesses move to fully resume activities, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health Akin Abayomi, advised that individuals need to be more conscious about the spread of COVID-19, even though it seems the crisis is over, the virus itself is not over as it is still out to continue spreading.

“I believe people are a little bit fed up with COVID and they want to move on and live normally while also doing business normally but we can’t drop our guards because we are still vulnerable,” he said.

Bisi Adeyemi, President, NBCC, said in line with the new normal, the use of technology in driving productivity has become imperative and is reflective of the current realities driven by the covid-19 pandemic.

In addition, she said businesses need to promote brand divisibility, foster new partnerships and develop foreign market opportunities.