Chairman, Osisioma Foundation and Industrialist, Chike Obidigbo, has called on Nigerians to see the current economic recession as a blessing in disguise. He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka on Wednesday that Nigerians should develop positive attitude toward it.
According to him, the situation should actually challenge all patriots to look inwards so as to attract investments for sustainable employment generation for the teeming unemployed.
“The recession has exposed the dangers associated with overdependence on a single product. We should give more attention to the other productive sectors of our economy.
“The rising rate of graduate unemployment should be of grave concern to all men and women of goodwill and good conscience. How can we convince our youths as parents that we care and are concerned about welfare when we pay only lip service to job and wealth creation?
“If not for the economic downturn nobody would have given practical thoughts about the capacity of Nigerians to feed themselves,’’ Obidigbo said.
He said the recent emphasis on domestic cultivation of rice was one of the positive sides of the recession.
He called for the protection of local industries, stressing that part of the factors that fueled the recession was the comparative advantage foreign products had over locally produced goods.
“We shouted, cried and complained about the influx of substandard goods that were produced abroad but nobody listened. We drew attention to the cost of manufacturing domestic products locally, which made them less competitive in the market yet nobody cared.
“Now it has dawned all and sundry that for every foreign product we buy in Nigeria the more we were supporting foreign firms at the expense of indigenous manufacturers.
“So, the recession is a blessing in disguise to make us look inwards,” Obidigbo said.
He further called on Nigerians to pull ideas and resources as well as supports the Federal Government to navigate the country out of the imminent depression.
Obidigbo said that Nigerians’ resilience and creativity would see the nation through.
The industrialist urged the Federal Government to focus its attention on power supply and infrastructure uplift in the coming year.
“The two items can speed up the economic turnaround of our nation.’’
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the recent victory over Boko, saying: “it is impossible to talk about sustainable development in the midst of insecurity.
“The President should bring the same pressure to bear on other forms of insecurity in the country for the unity, peace and growth of economy.’’