Prof Pat Utomi
A member of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), Prof. Pat Utomi, has called on the Federal Government to re-design an economic blueprint that would revitalise the manufacturing sector and enhance entrepreneurial base to support industrialisation.
Speaking during the 50th anniversary lecture and book presentation of Vitafoam Nigeria Plc, in Lagos, he stated that doing so would help the manufacturing sector to account for significant percentage of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Utomi, who expressed worry over the declining state of the manufacturing sector, argued that Nigeria could not claim to have an economy when the manufacturing sector contributes only four per cent of the GDP.
Speaking on the topic ‘Strategic Policy Options for Nigeria’s Industrial Growth,’ he explained that Nigeria, which is currently growing by six –seven per cent per annum has the capacity to grow by 16-17 per cent without any challenge.
Utomi, however, noted that factors such as industrial policy failure, decline of institutions, over emphasised policies, lack of human capital development, collapse of culture, degeneration of infrastructure among others has remained the bane of the nation’s industrial growth.
He pointed out that the manufacturing sector plays strategic roles in every economy as it remains the engine of economic growth while maintaining that sustainable development can only be achieved if resources are efficiently mobilised and transformed into productive activities that engenders growth and generate employment.
“For the country to move forward, the manufacturing sector need to account for a significant percentage of output of about 35 per cent but currently, we are less than three per cent of GDP in Nigeria whereas Nigeria has the capacity of growing at 16 to 17 per cent per annum without any challenge because we have the ingredients but how do we offer leadership to take us where we are going. Our economic policies, our human capital, entrepreneurship, leadership, institutions and access to capital are not sufficient enough to make us competitive and advance,” he said.
Utomi added that when the sector is revived, it would help to actualise a long-term strategic development plan that would stimulate economic growth and reposition the country onto a path of sustainable economic growth and rapid development.