Nigeria will benefit more if the federal government can make Nnewi a full manufacturing hub to serve as panacea for the chase for foreign investment.
Former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and Presidential candidate of the Young Progressive Party, YPP, Prof. Kingsley Moghalu made the call weekend, during the Nnewi 2020 Investment Summit.
Muoghalu who was the lead speaker at the event lamented that federal and state governments are always on the search for foreign investments, when it could support a huge manufacturing hub like Nnewi to reach its limit and in turn help in grow the nation’s economy.
He contended that Nnewi would hardly become a successful manufacturing hub based on the efforts of the private sector alone hence the need for the federal government to provide the necessary impetus and amenities to make businesses thrive in the area.
According to him, “Nnewi is the only industrial town in the whole world that is growing without the support of government. A huge manufacturing hub that was started from the scratch by indigenes of the town and has continued to grow without the support of the government.
“It will not be out of place to say that the federal government has abandoned Nnewi. Do you know what people in Nnewi will do if what government did at the Lekki Free Trade Zone is done here?
“Let me tell you, manufacturing sector is the easiest way to grow the economy of a country. It doesn’t matter the number of mineral resources you have. How many mineral resources does China have? You can only survive by manufacturing and exporting your products, and that is why China is surviving today.
“That is why I always say that the chase for foreign Investment is a wild goose chase. If you create the right environment, investments will come. Money knows where to go and multiply, you do not need to go asking it to come. Instead of pumping in Naira to rival the dollar, why not create a manufacturing hub and once products are exported and foreign exchange is earned, you will see the economy grow on its own,” Muoghalu insisted.
Muoghalu also tasked the Nnewi business community to show maximum interest in politics. He contended that politics influences public policy, and that when the right kind of people are in political offices with ideas that can drive business and manufacturing, then, businesses would not face as many problems as they were facing presently in Nigeria.
Mr Kelechi Nwosu, the CEO of TBWA, a leading marketing company and co-sponsors of the event in an address of welcome said that the inaugural summit was put together to rub minds on ways to scale up business growth in Nnewi.
Earlier, the representative of Nnewi North, Nnewi South and Ekwusigo Constituency at the national assembly, Hon. Chris Emeka Azubogu, said the dream of a greater Nnewi industrial hub could be achieved when government provide needed infrastructure to drive manufacturing and also reshape policies that would help drive industries.
He maintained that, “Government has to work hard to ensure that the policy on energizing the economy works in Nnewi. Again, Nnewi business community has to generate power locally; I mean independent power source. When we get reliable, affordable and sustainable energy and support it with what we are getting from the national grid, it will stimulate both economic and industrial growth.”