Importation of relevant and irrelevant goods into the Country has been described as the major problem impeding the economic growth of Nigeria as a nation.
An aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the September 10 gubernatorial election in Edo state, Dr. Godwin Obaseki, made the declaration on Thursday at a one-day seminar with the theme; “Edo state in the eye of the present economic downturn/the future,” organised by the Edo Accord Initiative (EAI).
Obaseki who decried the unhealthy preference for foreign-made goods to those made in Nigeria, said the major problem confronting Edo state in particular and the nation at large is unemployment.
He pointed out that it would be difficult for the country to make economic progress if we don’t develop interest in our home made products.
“How many of what we wear here today are made in Nigeria? Every money we make in this country is spent on importation. Until we change this our attitude of importation, we will remain poor,” he said.
“Many of the nation’s manufacturers in the past are now out of business because of our culture of importation. We must do something about importation.”
Government must provide a bailout to the people. Government must provide infrastructure and the enabling environment to drive industry. But most important of all is power.
He assured that the Azura power project cited in Benin, would be capable of providing enough power for the entire state when completed next year, which he said would enable industrialisation to strive.
He however urged youth and community associations across the state to show that they are desirous of the presence of investors by embracing them with open arms instead of disturbing them.
Also speaking on the theme; “The role of good governance in economic development and industrialisation,” a Professor of History and International Studies in the University of Benin, Eddy Erhagbe, said whoever truly desire to impact on good governance and turn around the economic situation of the country, must visit and impliment the recommendations of the Constitutional Conference set up by the administration of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.
He said it is really possible to improve food production through mechanisation and modernisation of agriculture, to meet the modern day challenges and needs.
The University Don noted that for a true continuity in governance in Edo state to be, it must be by people who worked with Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to achieve what he has achieved in the state.
He however urged the youths who insist on securing white collar jobs to face the reality by exploring new opportunities in agriculture, adding that “our degrees are supposed to help to know how people in developed countries use theirs to develop their places and replicate same here.”
Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman and Founder of Edo Accord Initiative, Dennis Idahosa, said the theme of the seminar is apt, in view of the downward turn the economy has taken in recent times.
He urged members of the Initiative to give their unalloyed support to the aspiration of Godwin Obaseki in the forthcoming governorship election in the state, to ensure continuity in governance to the benefit of Edo people.