Labour wants African nations to build industrial capacities


By Esenvosa Izah

Lagos, Nov. 19, 2020 The organised labour says there is need for African Nations to make conscious effort to build the domestic industrial capacities of their nations.

The Deputy President of Nigeria Labour Congress, Mr Joe Ajaero, made the call at a seminar on Thursday in Lagos to commemorate Africa Industrialisation Day, marked annually on Nov. 20.

The seminar which was organised by the Nigeria Council or Industrial Global Union had its theme as:“COVID-19: Issues, Challenges and Trade Union Responses”.

Ajaero, who is also the General Secretary, National Union of Electricity Employees, said such effort would require coherent strategy and great determination to achieve it.

“This will definitely increase productivity, accelerate growth, enhance standard of living by growing personal income thus generally lifting the people out of poverty and despondency, ” he said.

The labour leader said that the pursuit of an industrialized Africa was therefore, the pursuit of socioeconomic development in the continent.

According to him, it is a quest to consciously ,with the support of other global blocks and indeed networking within and among African nations, build a continent with deep industrial capacities.

He said: “Such capacities will serve as a catalyst to development within the continent and help extricate it from the morass and consequences of underdevelopment that presently confronts it.”

Ajaero said the seriousness and capacity of a nation’s quest for industrialisation was a function of the nature and character of its leadership.

“A nation cannot be more industrialised than the quality of its leadership.

“Nigeria urgently needs its leaders to begin to lay the foundation for the nation’s industrialisation.

“It needs to build the needed human capital by investing heavily in education like other nations of the world did, such as China and India for example.

“We need to build the necessary road and transport infrastructure to facilitate establishment of manufacturing entities.

“Also, Energy and Power frameworks need to be put in the place to reduce the cost of operations to make it more attractive for investors, drive down cost thus make the end products more competitive globally and easily affordable locally.

“Our Iron and Steel industries must be revived and Ajaokuta Integrated Steel Complex completed and inaugurated to start production.

“MSMEs need to thrive and facilitate access to affordable and low interest funds in collaboration with financial institutions, ” the labour leader said.