Why Nigeria’s Textiles, Other Industries Are Dying-Oyeyinka

The Special Adviser on Industrialization to the President of the African Development Bank,Prof. Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, has said that Nigeria’s structural and political issues have killed so many viable industries and is a major reason why the country is highly import dependent.

Oyeyinka said this on Tuesday during a monitored programme on Channels Sunrise Daily.

He said, “Nigeria started as a subsistence agricultural economy. You expect that after fifteen to twenty years, we will have transited from that phase and begin to move to a situation where we have a more dynamic economy, including industrial agriculture. We have to transit from there and that’s what every economy does.

“You grow cotton for example, from cotton you make textiles and we saw Aswani, we saw all those big industries. There was a particular Nigerian company that was employing a million- Arewa textile in those days. Where are they today? Gone, so that is what I mean by structural issues.”

He stressed that ideally, Nigeria has to “move gradually from one level of technological and industrial capabilities of certain skills level to another.”

Oyeyinka who said that politics have always been the major hindrance to economic growth in the country also said Covid-19 vaccine development under a year was as a result of accumulated technological capabilities.

The former United Nations Director, Regional Office for Africa, said Nigerians with such technological capabilities have either left the country or were under-utilised.

He explained, “You move from subsistence agriculture into industrial and into service. What has happened now is that we totally jumped the industrial and I can give you figures and graphs to show it.

“We moved because telecom came. Thankfully it is a very big area. Services for example, financial services, telecoms is a big part of the economy. But the transition from agriculture must go through industrial and to servicing.”

Oyeyinka noted that in the structure of an economy there are three critical structures which are agriculture, industry and service.

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