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Former Minister of Finance and Trade, Industry and Investment, Mr Olusegun Aganga has stated that Nigeria has been de-industrializing for the past 8 years since 2015.  

Mr Aganga stated this while delivering the Adeola Odutan lecture during the 50th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) which was held in Lagos.  

The former Minister noted that the best year for the manufacturing sector was the period between 2011 and 2014 when the sector grew by double digits as a result of active collaboration between the government and MAN.  

He lamented the absence of continuity and an industrial plan for the country coupled with limited interaction between the government and the private sector.  

In his words,

  • “The best year for the industry was between 2011 and 2014. That was when there was active collaboration between MAN and the government.
  • The numbers will tell you that Nigeria has been de-industrialising since 2015, not improving”  
  • “The numbers will also tell you that when government promotes and supports industrialisation, the industry responds positively, and we all benefit as a country” 

He further touted the manufacturing GDP growth which was under 4% in 2010 and rose to just over 17% in 2011 peaking at 24% in 2012.


He noted that during this period, there was sustained double-digit growth which has become elusive in recent times.  

He said, “You will see from 2015, we started getting negative growth and started de-industrializing” 


Importance of industrial infrastructure 

Mr Aganga further harped on the importance of industrial infrastructure and how its absence can significantly limit production and logistics.  

He stated that,

  • “The lack of electricity alone adds about 20% to 30% of the production cost and of course, the recent increase in fuel subsidy has further increased the cost of production.” 
  • “The problem has persisted due to the poor implementation of various infrastructure development plans” 

Standards and compliance 

Speaking further, he noted that one of the major problems of Nigeria’s competitiveness in the manufacturing industry was standards.  

His words were,

  • “Apart from a very low manufacturing base, the major problem of Nigeria’s export of non-oil commodities is standards.
  • Poor compliance with sanitary conditions has caused Nigeria to have one of the highest rejects of agricultural produce (exports) to Europe and the United States.” 
  • “This results in the excessive use of agrochemicals that exceeds the maximum level permitted”  

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