“We must take urgent steps to transform Nigeria from an agrarian society to a manufacturing economy. There is no alternative. It is bend or break. If we fail to industrialise, we will never be able to defend ourselves and shall therefore be at the mercy of foreign powers that dealt ruthlessly with our forefathers. If we fail to industrialise, then we are doomed to suffer another wave of slavery or extinction on African soil.” – Dr. Caesar Osaheni Iyayi, 2021
For Dr. Caesar Osaheni Iyayi, eldest son of the late renowned entrepreneur and philanthropist, Dr. Efianayi Iyayi, nothing best catapults a nation than industrialisation. And this has pushed him to churn out a book in this direction.
Titled ‘The ABC Of How To Industrialise Nigeria,’ the 390-page book is a sine qua non for those who seek Nigeria’s industrial development. It detailed not only what the country’s rulers – president and governors – but also individuals must do to galvanise budding as well as established private sector investors in our quest for industrialisation.
Iyayi, the Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of Caesar Engineering and Construction Limited, North Sea Limited, Caesar Iyayi Agro Allied Limited and many others, is convinced that local manufacturing of goods by Nigerians should be the highest goal of all, for the survival of the black race. To him, industrialisation is the only way to create wealth, employment and development.
The foreword to the book was written by an industrialist of no mean repute, Chief Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion. According to the Esama of Benin Kingdom, “If we ever needed a manual to drive effective change in Nigeria today, Dr Caesar Osaheni Iyayi has just delivered one into our very hands. From his detailed assessment of our problems as a country, down to his proffered solutions; it does not take a genius to understand that the power to drive industrial change lies within the shores of our beautiful country. This is a must-read for everyone.”
According to Chief Igbinedion, “industrialisation is understood purely in economic terms as the physical presence of industrial plants that are involved in manufacturing capital goods. It is the only sure way to economic growth and development and Nigeria since independence through various Governments have adopted several policies, incentives and schemes to promote industrialisation and they woefully failed.
“It is against this background therefore that the way forward postulated in this book should be read and implemented by the Sitting President, all the Governors of the 36 States, the Minister of the Federal Territory, Abuja, all members of the National and State Assemblies, all Vice-Chancellors and lecturers in all our tertiary institutions in Nigeria, organised labour and the general public.”
It will be trite to say Iyayi took painstaking efforts in his research that resulted in this solution-focused and innovative book. It contains lucid strategies for transforming the country into an industrialised nation. Thus, the 390 page book can be described as a compendium, an encyclopedia for those who seek to understand Nigeria’s crucial development profile and fundamentals.
Notably, ‘The ABC Of How To Industrialise Nigeria’ covers virtually all the aspects of what should be the country’s priorities in the 21st century. While Iyayi catalogued the pivotal role that Nigerians must play in transforming the nation’s current oil-dependent, agrarian economy into an industrialised one, the author was emphatic that “There is no country in the world that was industrialised by foreigners.” This clearly signposts his passion for the emancipation of Nigeria, Africa and the Black race by Nigerians through industrialisation.
His words: “It took the sweat, determination, sacrifice and investment of citizens to industrialise the United States of America, Britain, Japan, Germany and other developed economies in the world. Moving forward, this is the time for the Federal and State Governments to start looking inward.
“We must not deceive ourselves; our people do not have a culture of manufacturing. All our efforts up till now were directed to importation and trading. In this regard therefore, we must put a premium on employing competent expatriates to execute specialised technical aspects of the manufacturing process.
“With the passage of time, Nigerians will eventually acquire the necessary skills that are required for specific applications. This will indeed usher in a new dawn because the expatriates will serve as employees to Nigerian-owned companies.”
And he added: “We must take urgent steps to transform Nigeria from an agrarian society to a manufacturing economy. There is no alternative. It is bend or break. If we fail to industrialise, we will never be able to defend ourselves and shall therefore be at the mercy of foreign powers that dealt ruthlessly with our forefathers. If we fail to industrialise, then we are doomed to suffer another wave of slavery or extinction on African soil”
Indeed, it high time the President of Nigeria and all Governors used their powers and offices to push Nigerians to direct their efforts at industrial and manufacturing revolution. As Iyayi wrote, “We cannot continue to do the same thing and expect a different result. This is a TASK THAT MUST BE DONE.”
Iyayi in the book did not call for any new scientific discovery. He wrote: “In fact, all we need to do, just like what China did, is to copy and replicate the existing manufacturing methods. We are fortunate to have all the advantages that over 90% of our counterpart countries crave for in vain. For example, we have natural gas. The first thing is permission for Nigerian owned businesses to tap into the gas at the point of flaring free of charge. After that, government only needs to encourage, and support Nigerian owned businesses to purchase mobile electric gas turbines to generate electricity for industrial manufacturing at the point of gas flaring source. “Next, you will need to encourage Nigerian owned businesses for example to import plant and equipment for the industrial manufacturing of solar panels, glass, computer chips, semi-conductors and deep cycle lead acid batteries that can be made from our locally available sand, quartz and lead.
“The manufacturing of the aforementioned products is logical because we have a lot of gas that we waste; we have an endless supply of sand, quartz and lead. Add to that, we have a huge demand for solar panels and lead acid batteries that we presently import from industrial manufacturing countries. Because we do not have the manufacturing expertise, we shall employ expatriates to supervise the production process.”
Iyayi, however, warned that this industrial revolution voyage must be monitored profoundly so that it would not derail like the privatisation process which up till date has not helped to revive the economy. His words: “The ownership and management of any company that is unable to meet certain predetermined benchmark must be dissolved and replaced within a few months without sentiments. So far, for example, our privatised electricity and steel companies have failed immeasurably because government has refused to play the role of an unbiased umpire.
“In this regard, I call on our Sitting President to terminate the purchase agreements of all dysfunctional privatised companies so that credible investors can participate in the infrastructural development of Nigeria.”
He enjoined Nigerians to look inward to source for the funding of the industrialisation of our country. “In this regard therein, you do not have to worry about how to raise a budget for this nationally intrinsic enterprise. Nigerians at home and abroad, with proper encouragements and support from the Federal and State Governments, can finance the industrialisation,” he said.
The public presentation of the 390 paged book has been slated for the first quarter of 2022 in Abuja.