Industrialization and the Nigerian Economy
Industry plays a major role in the economic growth of any country. Highly industrialized nations boast of developed economies and can afford high standards of living for the citizens. Industrialization creates jobs, enables a better environment and ensures stabilization of the economy. The structure of any economy should be one which has industry playing a dominant role in its composition.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are universal goals and targets that were initiated in 2015. They replaced the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which started a global effort to tackle the indignity of poverty. Two of the goals (SDGs 8 & 9) align with the industrial development of nations.
Over the years, the Nigerian economy has recorded phenomenal growth due to its industrial sector, with the small-scale industry taking a pivotal role in this race. This industry is the backbone of the economy, sustaining development from the grassroots. It creates jobs, various sources of income, wealth and contributes to the improved standard of living of the populace.
Nigeria regards the promotion, growth and development of industries as the most reliable way of building an economically stable and viable country. It has since assumed the industrial objectives of achieving self-reliance, self-sufficiency, foreign exchange savings, balanced regional development and reduction in unemployment rates which would lead to the urgent realization of economic independence.
Some of the flourishing industries in Nigeria include the Fashion Industry, Entertainment Industry, Manufacturing Industry and Agricultural Industry.
The fashion industry grows and expands daily. For example, Nigeria’s apparel and footwear industry is estimated to have a market worth of $4.7 Billion. Nigerian labels such as Maki Oh, recently worn by Beyonce, Jewel by Lisa and Ikire Jones are establishing themselves as international brands. Soon, many more Nigerian designs, made in Nigeria products from locally sourced materials will grace more fashion stores across the world. This is largely due to growing interest in Africa’s cultural traditions including its vibrant hues, colourful fabrics such as wax, printed/dyed cotton and the high quality of craftsmanship.
This industry is dominated by firms in the food (30.17 per cent) and garment (22.28 per cent) sub-sectors. Wood and furniture products which constitute a significant proportion of the industry represent 27 and 13 per cent respectively. Although the manufacturing industry has shown strong growth in recent years, the sector faces on-going challenges including epileptic power supply, poor infrastructure, poor plant maintenance and heavy dependency on agricultural inputs. Its strengths include a semi-skilled work force, the availability of domestically sourced inputs and most importantly, a huge domestic demand for consumer products. It therefore displays great potentials for future expansion.
Agriculture is an important industry in the Nigerian economy. Basically, it provides employment opportunities for the teeming population, eradicates poverty and contributes immensely to the growth of the economy.
Despite Nigeria’s rich endowment in black oil and other mineral resources, the well being of her economy still largely depends on the agricultural sector. It is the largest contributor to the nation’s GDP (average 38% in the last 8 years) with crops accounting for 80%, forestry 3% and fishery 4%. It provides employment for about 65% of the adult labour force and takes care of the food and fiber needs of a large and increasing population. The agro-industrial enterprise depends on the sector for raw materials while 88% of the non-oil exports earnings come from the sector.