A university lecturer, Prof. Festus Oyawale, has identified the insatiable lust for the importation of manufactured goods as a major factor hindering the growth of the nation’s manufacturing sector.
Oyawale, a Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, made the assertion at the 11th Inaugural Lecture of the institution on Friday in Ota.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the lecture was, “Engineering and Manufacturing: A Sine Qua Non for Pertinence”.
Oyawale said: “The nation’s currency continues to decline against other world currencies because Nigeria is still a net exporter of raw materials and heavy importer of manufactured goods.
“The nation cannot continue to depend on the export of raw materials and importing goods from other countries if it wants to join the league of industrialised countries.’’
He said that the nation’s manufacturing sector had failed to undergo the critical structural transformation necessary for it to play a leading role in national development.
According to him, this is because the foundation of engineering had been neglected for too long.
He, however, advised the Federal Government to create a vibrant manufacturing sector and a steel sector that would drive mass employment, improved skills, eradicate poverty and provide the foundation for a long-run sustainable economic growth.
Also, Prof. Aderemi Atayero, the Vice-Chancellor of the institution, said that no country could join the league of the industrialised nations without deep research in engineering and manufacturing.
Atayero said that the lecture was pertinent so as to do justice to the challenges of the manufacturing sector.
He said that the institution had been a leading university in Nigeria through innovative research.