The Federal Government has been urged to make Nnewi, Anambra State, Nigeria’s manufacturing hub, as a panacea for attracting foreign investment.
Former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank and former presidential candidate of the Young Peoples Party (YPP), Prof Kingsley Muoghalu made the call on Saturday in Nnewi at ‘The Nnewi Investment Summit.
Muoghalu who was the lead speaker at the event lamented that the federal and state governments in Nigeria are always on the move, looking for foreign investments when it could support a huge manufacturing hub like Nnewi to reach its limit and in turn help in growing the nation’s economy.
He said, “Nnewi is the only industrial town in the whole world that is growing without the support of the government. A huge manufacturing hub that was started from scratch by indigenes of the town and has continued to grow without the support of the government.
“It will not be out of place to say that the federal government has abandoned Nnewi. Do you know what people in Nnewi will do if what government did at the Lekki Free Trade Zone is done here?
“Let me tell you, the manufacturing sector is the easiest way to grow the economy of a country. It doesn’t matter the number of mineral resources you have. How many mineral resources does China have? You can only survive by manufacturing and exporting your products, and that is why China is surviving today.
“That is why I always say that the chase for foreign Investment is a wild goose chase. If you create the right environment, investments will come. Money knows where to go and multiply, you do not need to go asking it to come. Instead of pumping in Naira to rival the dollar, why not create a manufacturing hub and once products are exported and foreign exchange is earned, you will see the economy grow on its own,” Muoghalu said.
Mr Kelechi Nwosu, the CEO of TBWA, a leading marketing company and co-sponsors of the event in his welcome address said that the summit is an inaugural event put together to rub minds on ways to scale up growth in Nnewi.
Nnewi has been adjudged the highest concentration of manufacturing industries in Nigeria, and also the highest concentration of self-made billionaires in the country.
The two-day event also featured visits to several manufacturing companies in the city, and several speakers including Uche Nworah, a media and communications expert and Managing Director of Anambra Broadcasting Service among others proffered solution to how the city can grow.