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Manufacturing Industry Almost Dead In Nigeria, Falae Laments

According to him, improving power supply will be very critical to revatalising the manufacturing industry.


Chief Olu Falae was a guest on Politics Today, Thursday, December 7, 2023.

 

An erstwhile minister of finance, Chief Olu Falae, says the manufacturing industry in Nigeria is almost dead, describing the situation as unfortunate.

Falae, who was a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Thursday, was reacting to a report that consumer goods giants Procter & Gamble plans to end on-ground operations in Nigeria and focus on importation.

The elder statesman said the manufacturing industry needs revival to stem the country’s dependency on imported goods. According to him, improving the power supply will be very critical to revitalising the manufacturing industry.

READ ALSO: FG Should Repair, Sell Refineries To Those Who Can Run Them, Says Falae

“Unfortunately, the manufacturing industry is almost dead in our country. I am very sad to observe that because of the multiplicity of the problems that we have. Unless we revive, revitalise, and resuscitate the manufacturing industry, our dependency on imports will continue, and imported inflation will continue to be a major problem, and the way to revive the manufacturing industry is well known to policymakers.

“The first thing is power which is the multisource. Power supply both quantum and the distribution, reliability, and price are all unsatisfactory and this is very sad because when I was still in service way back in 1980, when we prepared the third national development plan, we had projected that Nigeria should have 6,000 megawatts of electricity by 1985.

“If we had done that at the time I am sure by now we would have 150,000 megawatts or 100,000 megawatts. But unfortunately, that project was implemented and today I doubt whether we have even 5,000 megawatts.

“And as long as your power supply is inadequate, unreliable, and expensive, manufacturing is going to suffer and products will be very expensive,” Falae said.

Aside from poor power supply, Falae pointed out the lack of employment generation and insecurity as other factors contributing to the exodus of manufacturers from Nigeria.

Repair, Sell Refineries

Oil Output
A file photo of the refinery in Kaduna, a state in north-west Nigeria.

 

The former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) also spoke about the country’s state-operated refineries and suggested their repairs and sales.

“My belief is that Nigeria’s problem with fuel and its price will be substantially resolved when we are able to repair and recommission our refineries and sell to companies that know how to run refineries.

“We should not try to run them ourselves because if we try to do so, politics will intervene and we will mismanage them. I am sorry to say this,” he said.

Falae, who is the current monarch of Ilu-Abo in Akure North Local Council of Ondo State, also backed a former central bank governor, Lamido Sanusi, who said that the President should not double as the minister of petroleum.

He argued that the petroleum ministry ought to have a minister in charge and not the president.

“I believe that there ought to be a minister for every important subject in government including petroleum. But I know that petroleum is so important to the finances of government that no president has been able to take his hands off petroleum completely.

“But conceptually, it is necessary and important to have a man of integrity called a minister to manage the petroleum industry in my view on behalf of the president and Nigeria so that he can be held accountable.

“I think it is good for us to have a petroleum minister. All ministers report to the president but the president does not have to be the petroleum minister,” Falae maintained.