As the nation embarks on gradual ease of lockdown against the COVID-19 pandemic, an expert on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the National President, Association Of Water Well Drillers and rigs owners Practitioners (AWDROP) Engr Micheal Ale, has recommended urgent and robust boost in industrialization for Nigerian’s recovery and precautionary step against possible economic recession.
Engr Ale stated this while featuring on a Nigeria Televison Authority (NTA) Abuja said Nigeria can maximaize her potentials on indusriaization by meeting the target of the SDGs 2020 noting that the nation needs to key into the global policy on SDGs.
“it is not about government policy, it is all about understanding what industrialization is. If we say it is government policy we are looking indepth into aspects of leadership.
But if we look into a global perspective as far as United Nations and all over the world are concerned, there is a global policy and a national policy. There is a global policy that the government keys into and the direction has been given to us. And if we are looking at the global policy, what is industrialization? you look at the first industrial revolution second, third and now the fourth industrial revolution: The first industrial revolution was when machinery replaced hands in agriculture, the second was the internet and technology, the third was the renewable energy which make our activities faster and the fourth revolution is the robots and artificial intelligence.”
“How many of our universities have research outcomes to use. All these developed countries go to their universities, their businessmen can go to the universities and engage them in researches that would help their development. They sponsor such researches that can add value to their companies. It doesn’t have to be government alone.
This is why I mentioned academics. We have only leveraged on agriculture, we have the pharmaceutical industry, right now, the Covid 19 issue has given us the great opportunity to revamp our industries, especially, the pharmaceutical industry. How many of us are producing ordinary masks, I am not talking about the cloth masks, you know they are using the shields now, it is part of industrialization because all these evil things would definitely create opportunities. Do we have academic institutions that are looking into that?.
I am very happy when I see some of them producing some mechanical inventions on the sanitation aspect. All these are ways we can explore to meet the SDGs 2020 target. Right now, all the policies from all the sectors, agric, aviation, etc must come up with a renewed policy.”
Ale, gave tips on how the nation can be self sufficient and equally begin a robust industrialization journey: “ it all boils down to the root cause, in sustainable development, it is a tree format, you have the tree, the trunk and the roots. the tree that isn’t doing well now are the consequences but we need to go back to the roots.
The moment you tackle the roots you then have addressed the consequences, if I want that tree to die I tackle the roots, if I want it to live then I put in more fertilizer. We should go down and see what do we have, I think there is a lot of committee that are being set up by government, we can look at them. The important thing is research, development and innovation, I keep saying this, we must go into much of research, innovating and put these to use.
Speaking about how to make Nigerian Universities hallmarks of industrialization, Ale said:
“It is very achievable, we have the likes of Dangote my good friend, his foundation can go into research, and look into what can be done, you can pick on any university that you think focus on what your industry needs. Then you talk to the university and give them grants for the research. I think the Nigerian government has tetfund and they are going into many research, what have they done with those research outcomes?. We don’t know but the fact is that they have done a lot. Let them publicize these, let them ask private individuals to come pick these research outcomes.
Private individuals can invest in the universities, researches and they can tell the universities this is what I want you to do. I think I know of Tata in India he does that. Look at the Roche firm in U.S , he is a private guy and the government bought off all the drugs for global supply that can go round the world in two months.. Nigerian Government can give a guarantee for the university that do this, we are going to back it up.”
Ale advocates zero collateral for small medium enterprise as they can come, as private initiatives, “government can also make banks give no collaterized, none interest loans, I have some banks that can do that. SMEs should look at the opportunities, for example, if all I have been doing is manufacturing of microphones, and I feel that this is the time that I should manufacture shields. I can make a proposal but the problem is for the SMEs who will write proposals for them.
How did they get knowledgeable, there is no business that grows anywhere for anyone if you don’t have knowledge behind that individual. It means you still need to engage someone who will help to you put up a proposal to a bank government or anyone who is interested and wish to fund the business. Anyone that would fund a business would ask how does he add value to it and what is the viability of such business sailing through?”