By Ikeugonna Eleke
The federal government has been urged to make Nnewi in Anambra State a manufacturing hub in Nigeria to boost foreign investment.
The former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, and former presidential candidate of the Young People’s Party (YPP), Prof Kingsley Muoghalu, made the call 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 were 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 described Nnewi as the only industrial town in the whole world that was growing without the support of government. He said it was a huge manufacturing hub that was started from scratch by indigenes of the town and had 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; 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 address of welcome, said the summit was 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, as well as several speakers, including Chief Uche Nworah, a media and communications expert and Managing Director of Anambra Broadcasting Service, among others, who proffered solutions on how the city could grow.