Industrialisation is the process of transforming an extraction based economy into manufacturing. I mean an economy that relies on the extraction and exportation of primary products (raw materials) like farming, fishing, mining and so on.
Industrialised nations rely on the transformation of these raw materials into finished goods for domestic use and export. Major goods and services for industrialisation include rubber, cotton, timber, plastics, metals, iron, potassium, sodium, chloride, hydrogen, methane, butane, cement, beverage, jewelries, soap, food produce skin and hides.
However, despite all these efforts by the government to revamp the economy and place it on the part of development, Nigeria remains largely under developed and under-industrialised.
The following are factors militating against industrialisation in Nigeria:
Lack of credit/access to credit – this remains the major hindrance to industrialisation in Nigeria. This problem is caused by the industrialists themselves, the government and financial institutions. Most industrialists in Nigeria are unwillingly to share the ownership and control of their establishments with other investors so as to accumulate enough finance to run their business.
This leaves most companies with little capital to run the business hence, limiting their growth. Also, the stiff requirements and interest on loan of most lending houses in Nigeria coupled with government negligence discourage industrialists from borrowing.
Over dependence on foreign technology- most of the technology and machines used by local manufacturers in Nigeria are imported from other countries and are usually very expensive. This hinders potential industrialists from venturing into production.
Inadequate raw materials – due to the poor state of our agricultural sector -the amount of raw materials produced for the manufacturing sector is not enough to support massive industrial production. Thus, the manufacturers depend largely on foreign raw materials for production. This hinders industrialisation in the country.
Production of sub-standard goods – most of the products made in Nigeria are usually substandard. This has decreased the reliance of the masses on locally made goods, hence, dependence on foreign goods for their satisfaction.
There is also the problem of poor infrastructure which has always been the major obstacle to development and industrialisation in Nigeria. The country lacks good roads, electricity supply, water, rail transport, and communication facilities. This hinders the progress of the industrial sector and discourages potential industrialists.
Frequent changes in government policies and insecurity have been a bane to industrialisation and development in Nigeria. The Niger Delta militants and the Boko Haram insurgents in Borno state have continuously hindered economic activities in the country.
From the foregoing, therefore, the federal government, donor agencies, and other stakeholders should address the problems of this sector in order to provide job opportunities to the teeming youth, and boost the nation’s economy.
Esther Gabriel Haruna,
Department of Mass Communication,
University of Maiduguri