HARDSHIP ECONOMY: Awosika, Oramah, Others Proffer Solutions √√ The Scoper Media 

Harsh economy: Awosika, Oramah, others proffer solutions

PROMINENT Nigerians have agreed that for Africa to raise its head above the drowning economy, it needs industrial support for Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs.

Speaking during the 8th Guddy Jidenma Foundation public lecture, themed; ‘The Route to Poverty Reduction in Africa in a De-Globalizing World,’ on Thursday, Chairman, Afrexim Bank, Prof. Benedict Oramah, noted in his remarks that for Africa to begin to reap the benefits of globalization, light manufacturing must be evident.

“Under a system of perfectly free commerce, each country naturally devotes its capital and labour to such employments as are most beneficial to each. This pursuit of individual advantage is admirably connected with the universal good of the whole by stimulating industry, rewarding ingenuity, and using most efficaciously the peculiar powers bestowed by nature; it distributes labour most effectively and most economically, while, by increasing the general mass of productions, it diffuses general benefit, and binds together by one common tie of interest and intercourse.” 

He argued that opportunities are beginning to emerge for Africa to begin to reap the benefits of globalization. He said:  “Rising labour costs had begun to make China increasingly noncompetitive for labour-intensive light manufacturing, as evident China began the process of “delocalization,”  a process of moving light manufacturing facilities to countries and regions where labour was cheaper—the same process that brought light manufacturing from Singapore, South Korea, Japan, the US, Europe, etc., to China. During the period, Chinese companies helped develop nine industrial parks and special economic zones in Ethiopia, which helped Ethiopia increase manufactured exports from 42 million US dollars in 1995 to about 500 million US dollars in 2019 (Figure 10). China also got involved in similar projects in Nigeria (Lekki), Egypt (Suez Canal), Senegal, etcetera. Exports from these zones were mostly destined for developed markets established by Chinese investors.”

On her part, formerly chairman of First Bank, Mrs. Ibunkun Awosika, insisted that “to drive the trade of the future, we need to get the largest part of our population.

“The youth are the real weapon we need to reduce poverty, and it is important to deliberately focus on helping the unicorn.”

Also speaking, formerly minister of industry, Dr. Nike Akande, added, “Industrialization is the key to economic development.”.

Roll call

Among the top personalities at the event are: Chairman Afrexim Bank; Prof. Benedict Oramah, founder of GTCO; Mr. Fola Adeola, founder of the Centre for Values in Leadership, Prof. Pat Utomi; Mrs. Ibunkun Awosika; Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, Dr. Nike Akande; and Prof. Anthony Kila, among others

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