……. A photographer’s Diary
By Adetunji Isaac
Dreams come true. But it does not come without a sweat.
Simply put, Dreams would only come true when it materialises into Success – an endpoint of painstaking action, effort, commitment and continued resilience to see such come to fruition at the end of the day.
Achieving a $1 trillion economy in Nigeria has been the dream of many leaders, especially those who engineered the country’s democratic journey since the start of the 4th republic in 1999. Perhaps, the reason is clear, it is only an economy that produces what it consumes locally that will grow robustly, secure its foreign exchange and help its citizens advance economically and lastly, compete favourably with their counterparts the world over.
The journey to Nigeria’s breather in industrial revolution and expansion received a greater boost a few days ago as the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite MD, CFA, broke away from the norm, and led her team on a facility tour of industrial hubs in Ogun and Lagos state, which share a historic part in the industrial map of Nigeria.
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With a visit to companies like Unilever, Dangote Sugar Refinery, Beloxxi Industries Itd a biscuit making factory, among others in Agbara and Apapa Industrial Estates, the vision is clear. It is one that seeks to address the mistakes of the past and sufficiently create an enabling environment for the industries to thrive.
Uzoka-Anite didn’t just do that. She is driven by a template of a pragmatic and visionary leader – President Bola Ahmed Tinubu whose drive to create a youth-driven economy laced with increased job creation is unparalleled.
As a reporter and photo-journalist who was opportune to accompany the Minister on the three-day tour, it was an avenue to see the work Nigerian investors are putting in the chain drive of creating jobs and growing the naira vis a vis optimising the veritable government-enabled programmes and initiatives to improve their returns.
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Heartwarming the most throughout the visit was a stop at Unilever Nigeria’s Industrial Hub, where the Minister after a thorough assessment of the situation ensured that the company shelved its plan of exiting the country’s economic landscape, with a promise that the present administration would do more to make its ease of doing business much more investor friendly and local economy boosting.
Notable was also the stop at the Ogun State Governor’s office where Governor Dapo Abiodun, who was pleased with the federal government’s efforts at further boosting the economy through local production, expressed the readiness of Ogun State to create a more friendly environment for industries to thrive.
The duo’s visit to commission the new factory extension for West African Cubes (WACUB) Limited in the Agbara Industrial Estate also caught my attention. At the facility among other factories visited including TGI Group, African Foundries Limited, and Land Craft Industries Limited,, the promise of support was re-echoed especially in terms of providing critical infrastructure so as to enable the movement of raw materials/goods and services seamlessly.
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The train also stopped in Kano, the economic capital of Northern Nigeria, with a check on the local industries, all to deliver the messages of sustainable industrialisation to the people.
The dream entrenched in the bigger Renewed Hope Vision for Nigeria is a goal that must be achieved. With President Tinubu leading the charge as the talismanic defender, his striker, and trusted team member, Doris Uzoka-Anite alongside other stakeholders will in no distant time, score the beautiful goals that will midwife Nigeria’s sustained economic growth and massive job creation dream.
Adetunji Isaac is the Official Photographer to, Hon. Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment