A labour leader, Mr Issa Aremu, on Friday, said that only industries could provide sustainable jobs and living wages to achieve growth and development of the economy.
Aremu, who made this remark at a stakeholders’ meeting in Lagos, said the revival of comatose industries was necessary to generate revenues for government to provide the needed infrastructure for development.
“For Africa to meet the Sustainable Development Goal 2030, especially SDG 9, dealing with industries and innovation, African continent must innovate and industrialise.
“Industry is a key driver of sustainable jobs and development for national economies and the foundation of good living standard,” he said.
Aremu, who is also the Vice-Chairman, Industrial Global Union, decried the rate at which millions of unemployed youths in the African labour market annually make themselves what he called, “voluntary slaves” in Europe and America.
He said it was time Africa stopped exporting raw cottons, crude oil, mineral resources, gold and diamond only to be importing finished goods from China, Europe and America.
“With large, small or medium scale enterprises, Africa must consume products it produces not imported or smuggled as it is the case in Nigeria today,” he said.
Aremu, also a Labour Party (LP) governorship aspirant in Kwara State, regretted that the state ranked 28th on the GDP while Rivers, Kano and Lagos created along with it in 1967 were among the top 10 high GDP states.
He said that under the LP administration, Kwara would return to the path of productivity through re-industrialisation and mass decent jobs.
Aremu promised to lay the foundations for accelerated economic growth and increased productivity in agriculture by providing favourable climate for industrial development.
He added that there would be improvement in the quality of life of the people through the provision of necessary infrastructure. (NAN)