David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka and Peter Uzoho in Lagos
The federal government has been urged to make Nnewi in Anambra State a manufacturing hub in Nigeria as a panacea for the chase for foreign investment.
Former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, and former presidential candidate of the Young Peoples Party (YPP), Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, made the call in Nnewi, at an event tagged, ‘The Nnewi Investment Summit.
Moghalu also stressed the need for Nigeria to have an industrial policy to promote manufacturing activities in Nnewi and other such industrial places in the country.
He stressed that manufacturing mattered and that it had mattered for centuries of global economic history, adding that it would continue to matter even with the rise of digital economies.
Moghalu, who was the lead speaker at the event, lamented that the federal and state governments in Nigeria are always on the move, looking for foreign investments, when it could support a huge manufacturing hub like Nnewi to reach its limit and in turn help in growing the nation’s economy.
He said, “Nnewi is the only industrial town in the whole world that is growing without the support of government. A huge manufacturing hub that was started from the scratch by indigenes of the town and has continued to grow without the support of the government.
“It will not be out of place to say that the federal government has abandoned Nnewi. Do you know what people in Nnewi will do if what government did at the Lekki Free Trade Zone is done here?
“Let me tell you, manufacturing sector is the easiest way to grow the economy of a country. It doesn’t matter the number of mineral resources you have. How many mineral resources does China have? You can only survive by manufacturing and exporting your products, and that is why China is surviving today.
“That is why I always say that the chase for foreign Investment is a wild goose chase. If you create the right environment, investments will come. Money knows where to go and multiply, you do not need to go asking it to come. Instead of pumping in Naira to rival the dollar, why not create a manufacturing hub and once products are exported and foreign exchange is earned, you will see the economy grow on its own,” Moghalu said.
Mr. Kelechi Nwosu, the CEO of TBWA, one of the leading marketing companies and co-sponsor of the event, in his welcome address said the summit is an inaugural event put together to rub minds on ways to scale up growth in Nnewi.