AfDB President wants Nigeria to tackle energy deficiency to boost industrial production

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Akinwumi Adesina

James emejo

African Development Bank (AfDB) President Dr Akinwumi Adesina said addressing the country’s energy shortage and reliability will boost the performance and growth of the industrial sector.

Noting that no business could thrive in Nigeria without relying on generators, Adesina identified the high cost and unreliability of electricity as major constraints in the manufacturing sector.

AfDB President, at the 49th Annual General Assembly (AGM) and 50th Anniversary of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) in Abuja, pointed out that the inconsistent availability of electric power has resulted in costs of High and uncompetitive manufacturing, as most manufacturers supplied their own power with a heavy reliance on generators and diesels.

Adesina further underscored the need to invest heavily in renewables, including gas, hydropower and large-scale solar systems, to ensure stable supply to industries.

He said: “Nigeria must have greater ambition for its manufacturing sector, promoting greater specialization and competitiveness, a well-developed manufacturing sector with a policy with an export-oriented objective.

“The performance of the manufacturing sector over the past five years has been poor. Between 2015 and 2017, the sector declined by minus one percent, 4.3 percent and minus 0.2 percent. While Asian countries focus on exporting manufactured goods, Nigeria’s approach has been to substitute imports.

According to him, Nigeria’s manufacturing sector accounted for only 3% of total export earnings, but accounts for 50% of the country’s imports.

He said bold policy initiatives were needed to boost agriculture to boost economic prosperity for the rural population.

He said it was important to develop special agri-food zones across the country with infrastructure and logistics to help private sector food and agricultural businesses relocate near production areas and process and add food. value to the food and agricultural economy.

Adesina said Nigeria needs greater export diversification to increase its foreign exchange supply to support its industries, as well as to focus on domestic manufacturing and expand local content by moving quickly to processing. from raw materials, to the manufacture of equipment and machines which constitute 50% of imports.

This, he said, would boost manufacturing, access to affordable finance, especially long-term finance that matches the gestation of business investment.

He said: “It is imperative to move from a primary reliance on forex demand management to expanding forex supply and availability if larger export-oriented manufacturers will avoid in Nigeria to depend on the export of crude oil to access foreign exchange.

“The permanent constraints faced by manufacturers are the unpredictability and availability of currencies, it is not an easy question but it must be addressed and structured.

“Sound policies make the economy thrive, multiple exchange rates create opportunities for financial gain, while restrictive access to foreign currency products has led to dependence on the parallel market.”


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