Acting Managing Director, Bank of Industry (BoI),Mr Waheed Olagunju has said that community-based industrialization should be developed for the growth of nation’s economy.
Olagunju gave this advice in his address during a media parley with the theme ‘Sustaining Nigerian Industrial Sector through impactful partnerships’ in Lagos south west Nigeriaat the weekend.
He said the country was naturally endowered with several commodoities that could put boost its competitiveness as a country.
According to him, the each state has at least one mineral or crop where it has comparative advantage, and which should be explored.
The acting managing director said that could also help reduce the level of unemployment rate in the country.
Olagunju said that there was also an urgent need for the nation to boost financial inclusion to achieve an inclusive growth.
He maintained that in achieving an inclusive growth, the grassroots had to be caputured to boost products in the 774 local governments through the Nigerian Enterprise Development Programme (NEDEP).
Olagunju said, “Nigeria is the only OPEC country that still exports crude oil, and some crude non-oil products”
“There is an urgent need for us to go back to the roots instead of running about and looking for jobs.
“This is why we need the support of state governors to encourage their youths to embrace entrepreneurship, and also fulfill their part by creating an enabling environment for business to thrive in their states.
“The current government has made a promise to utilize the NEDEP and Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) which are the keys to economic growth, food security and foreign exchange earnings that we need from economic diversification.”
He stressed the need for the creation of industrial clusters in each senatorial districts to reduce production and effective utilization of resources.
“We appeal that there should be at least one industrial cluster in each senatorial district where, to harness the current economic realities.
“Industrialists can still manage to share resources like electricity, factory space, knowledge, and even taxes.
“The BoI counts on the strategic partnerships with state governments, non-governmental organisations, even international organisations like the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) to drive our industrial plans, we enjoy some already, but we want more,” Olagunju said.
He also said that the bank has been working with more clusters and groups to ease its operations to loan beneficiaries, as seen in the Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme (GEEP) and the Kebbi Rice Programme.
According to him, the loans under the GEEP programme will be disbursed through groups and clusters, which will encourage teamwork and more efficient utilization of scarce resources.
He also encouraged entrepreneurs to begin and run their businesses based on character and integrity, and with the little financial and material resources they have at hand, before seeking for loans they may not have the capacity to manage at the time.