The President of the IndustriALL Global Union, Comrade Issa Aremu has stressed the need for the re-indutrilisation of the African continent in order to add value to its abundant raw materials through comprehensive beneficiation/value addition programme.
In a statement he issued on Sunday in Kaduna after the 5th edition of the 2017 10 kilometer Okpekpe Road Race said “Africa is a wealthy continent, blessed with an abundance of raw materials. Yet Africans don’t profit from this, because value is added further up the supply chain, after we have exported the raw materials.
He said, “Nigeria is a classic case; crude oil is exported, while refined petroleum products are imported, in the process millions of jobs are exported in a country with 50 per cent unemployment. South Africa and Ghana have abundant gold, platinum, diamond export them in raw forms while importing jewelry.
“Nigeria exports cotton and imports assorted smuggled fabrics. Africa unacceptably lacks comprehensive industrial policy. Its time Africa adds value to its abundant raw materials through comprehensive beneficiation/value addition programme.”
Aremu, who is of the opinion that Africans need to industrialize their economies to create quality, sustainable jobs, and lift people out of poverty added that, “For industrialization to succeed, we need infrastructure including an effective transport and communication network, reliable electricity supply, anti-smuggling policy and a transparent regulatory framework.”
He also said, “Africans must produce what they consume, consume what they produce. This requires intervention and coordination by the African governments at all levels and also by regional and continental bodies. And yet we face a climate where government intervention has fallen out of fashion.”
He commend the Federal government of Nigeria for declaring Mondays and Wednesdays every week, as Made-in-Nigeria Dress Days across the country “as part of measures to uplift the nation’s culture and promote Made-in-Nigeria textile products”.
He further noted that the race is part of the efforts to build a momentum around 2017 Africa Industrialization Day coming up on 20 November through mass demonstrations and policy engagement with the Ministries of Trade and Investment.