The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, yesterday blamed Nigerians’ strong appetite for foreign products as responsible for the low production and economic downturn.
Adegbite said Nigerians’ unquenchable thirst for foreign products leads to little or no patronage of the locally made goods, thereby killing indigenous industries. The minister, who spoke in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, at a town hall meeting with the youth as part of the fallout of the #EndSARS protest, also blamed overpopulation for the growing poverty in the country. He also expresses worry that churches and mosques were growing at the detriment of the economy, saying we should all be blamed for the country’s woes. He said: “All the textile industries in the country have collapsed because there is no raw material from cotton production again. Our industrial estates are all gone.
“Churches and mosques are growing, but our industries are collapsing. Churches and mosques that don’t pay taxes and don’t employ anybody are replacing our industries. “We are all to be blamed for this. We no longer patronise things locally made in Nigeria, our appetite for foreign goods have destroyed our economy.
“We must all go back home and face reality. Our food production has drastically decreased as our population is growing at a high rate.” He noted that President Muhammadu Buhari is reviving the agricultural sector and urged Nigerians to support the administration towards diversification of the economy through agriculture. Adegbite said: “When there is no production, the country will not develop. Youths should begin to move away from white collar jobs and venture into agriculture. “When there is no production the country cannot move forward. Production is the only way out.” The minister assured the youth that all their grievances and demands would be tabled before the president for prompt solutions.