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Poor industrial growth bane of economy, says Ooni


Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi

The Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, has warned that the Nigerian economy will continue to regress as long as industrial development takes the back seat in the scheme of priorities of the government.

Oba Ogunwusi posited that the high level of youth unemployment and under-utilisation of the abundant human resources in Nigeria is due to lack of industries to help in absorbing them.

Speaking at the official flagging off of the park at the Afe Babalola University (ABUAD), Ado Ekiti, the traditional ruler added that it was dangerous for Nigeria to remain a consumer nation without commensurate manufacturing activities to take care of the system.He said: “Nigeria is sitting on a keg of gun powder by the way our population is growing very fast. We are producing graduates yearly without opportunities for jobs, this is dangerous.

“That is why I commend the ABUAD’s founder, Chief Babalola on this initiative. Virtually all Nigerians now patronise foreign goods including clothing materials, and the food we eat. As we are seated here, if we examine ourselves closely, we will realise that over 80 per cent of us had either eaten foreign food this morning or presently wearing foreign clothes.

“We don’t produce as we consume. It is high time we started using home made goods, and encouraging our youth to believe in our country.“We have no reason not to develop industrially in Nigeria. We have the labour in abundance, both skilled and unskilled, but we have failed to realise that a nation can only grow when it takes care of its consumption, production and investment, where Nigeria has failed.”

This comes just as the African Development Bank (AfDB) entered into partnership with ABUAD, in which 121 units of industrial parks were flagged off in the University to drive industrial development in Ekiti and environs.The Founder of the University, Afe Babalola, and the AfDB President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, said the initiative will help in generating revenues, and pioneering industrial revolution in Nigeria.

Adesina disclosed that the parks are parts of the projects that will be jointly financed by the two institutions from the AfDB’s $40million loan to ABUAD, which was granted in 2017.

Babalola hinted that there is a need for the construction of an airport, and to extend a rail line to Ekiti State by the Federal Government for the industrial parks to be sustainable after taking off.

The Director of the project, Prof. Ade Aderoba, said the parks will help in carrying out research and innovation in critical technological areas like power generation, fabrication, manufacturing, and offer industrial support to drive the country’s economy.Aderoba added that the centre will also help in driving entrepreneurial consciousness of the Nigerian citizens.

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Oba Enitan Ogunwusi
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