01 November 2014, Abeokuta – The minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, has called for the diversification of economy saying it is the only way the country could achieve economic development.
The minister who made reference to the feat achieved by the former Premier of the Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, urged the present leaders to emulate past leaders, who used natural resources to improve the lots of their people and regions.
He said this on Friday as the 6th convocation lecturer of Bells University of Technology, Ota, Ogun State, while speaking on the topic: Emergence of Nigeria as Africa’s leading economy: Challenges for the Future.
According to him, for the country to maintain its position and even improve as the leading economy in Africa, it must encourage the growing of farm cash crops and embrace new standards in processing technologies.
He said, “We need to diversify our economy. We need to go back to the good old days when the proceeds from Cocoa were used to build the Cocoa House in Ibadan.
“We must improve the standard of what we produce and export.
“If we must compete, we must acquire the necessary skills, we must provide an environment where there is finance for the private sector. We cannot be competitive if we don’t link innovation with industry.”
“While he explained that the new economic status of the nation has been attracting foreign investors with many heads of state and presidents leading several investors from their nations to Abuja, he added that “the best time to invest in the country is now.”
The vice-chancellor, Prof. Adebayo Adeyemi noted that for the transformation agenda of the federal government to yield the necessary fruit it must ensure it has inbuilt components of knowledge economy.
According to him, knowledge economy relies on intellectual capabilities than on physical inputs or natural resources only.
He said, “Leading edge economies are now being driven by technologies based on knowledge, information, production and dissemination. It has been established that the widely accepted pillars of knowledge economy are economic incentive, innovation, education and information infrastructure “.
*Daud Olatunji – Vanguard