BY SUNNY CHUBA NWACHUKWU
Sunny Nwachukwu (Loyal Sigmite), PhD, a pure and applied chemist with an MBA in management, is an Onitsha based industrialist, a fellow of ICCON, and vice president, finance, Onitsha Chamber of Commerce. He can be reached on +234 803 318 2105 (text only) or firstname.lastname@example.org
Demographically, Nigeria is basically classified as a youth population. The good side of this characteristic, young age dominated population of over two hundred million citizens, is the aggregate percentage of the workforce in the society full of life and energy, with ample time on their side, for a progressive economy; once other macroeconomic indices are set right for economic growth and development.
Along the economic value chain of all the sectors in the economy, a major force that has pulled economic growth rate back (outside of the poor governance approach that has for decades been infested with corrupt practices) is the lack of the vital infrastructure that would have effectively supported productivity and efficient output capacity in the land, despite this particularly identified low hanging fruit (attractive and sustainable cheap labour force available for the economy, which hasn’t been exploited to change the narrative of a failing economy, based on the negative attribute of being a “consumer nation/economy.
If the tide is reversed by a drastically reduced import coefficient of the nation’s Economic Efficiency; where employment opportunity and it’s rate, for the teeming youth population at the labour market is improved, the other factors that positively would affect the growth rate of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP); the consumer expenditure, government expenditure, and investment (especially by the local entrepreneurs in the private sector), appreciably utilising the nation’s naturally endowed capital stock that is available in abundance, the game would completely and automatically turn around and shift from status quo (an unimaginable paradigm shift in the entire economic system taking place)!
The economic growth rate potential inherent in the nation’s productive capacity is significant, especially from the dimensions of human resources, and rich natural resources that have not been fully exploited. From the angle of the human capital alone, the results from the capacity building would offer the economy lots of talented youngsters with specially developed intellectual property in the creative industry and the information and communication technology (ICT), innovative solutions for service deliveries in the economy. All these attributes taking place on daily basis make up a formidable combination with the manufacturing/real sector in both economic and commercial activities that will erase significant imports in the system; and reposition the economy as net exporter of goods and services (export hub), which invariably characterises the economic status as a self-sufficient economy.
Industrialised economy, through agribusiness and so many other kinds of manufactured goods for exports, is advised; and also, to set up critical infrastructure and investment promotional incentives, provided by way of facilities that can support efficient running of economic and commercial activities at a specified location, such as an industrial park that should be fully equipped for a multifaceted activities (including all needed ancillary services) going on in various sectoral value chains at the same time! And better still, some designated locations too, need to be specifically developed as Export Processing Zones (EPZ), to additionally attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the economy.
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