By Omoh Gabriel, Business Editor
Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi, an economist, industrialist and one time minister of National Planning, has picked holes in the ongoing CBN reforms saying that most of the measures adopted by the CBN governor are panic measures that needed to be reviewed.
He said the CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, is the only one articulating policies and choices. In an interview with some journalists in Lagos, he said â€œWhat has emerged now is the ascendancy of the Governor of Central Bank almost taking over all the functions of financial regulations in the country. He is the only one articulating choices.â€
Gbadamosi said â€œFrankly, there is no industrial regime in place in the country. We have been consumed too much by politics that we are not giving enough requirements to basic economic and industrial policies. Right now we are battling with monetary policy. What has emerged now is the ascendancy of the Governor of Central Bank almost taking over all the functions of financial regulations in the country. He is the only one articulating choices.
â€œThere will always be options generated by the dynamics of the economy and then you as a policy maker and implementer will be taking options in the best interest of a particular sector, this only has happened in the last three to four years or so. It has not been the case in the past.
I have the joy and pleasure of being asked to chair an attempt by the Buhari regime to have an industrial policy, Chief Ogunbanjo chaired the committee to say that we cannot continue to be in the dark, but at that time the issue mitigating against credible industrial policies were: import licence regime,Â tight regulation of foreign exchange, all the things that SAP attempted to address were predominating and impeding the realisation of probable industrial regime.
â€œSo, what we counsel in that 1984 exercise, was to say slow down and calm down, do like other countries have done fast forward two years, there was a Minister of Industry, who said perhaps the country needed an industrial master plan, but I am sorry I find myself involved in all these things because I was asked to be the Chairman of a financial committee on industrial development which was to earn a place in an industrial master plan.
â€œWe worked on it for almost six years. It was housed at the energy secretariat where I happen to be the Chairman and it was again emphasising the high tested philosophy of industrial development through a consultative process. In other words, we now recognise the entire industrial sector the systemic approach and that a map of a nation that has got it right in terms of industrialisation is one in which when you look at the tapestry of the industrial profile of the country, you see a glossaryÂ of industries slowly interlinking.
â€œThe raw materials manufacturing outfits are feeding into those who are now exporting the product. Then of course the peripherals like electricity, gas, road network and railway and so on will be falling in line to support that endeavour. And when you subject this to intellectual analysis you have an input_output profile where producers in one sector are providing raw material for producers in another sector in a linked process in inter-industry synergy.
â€œIt is when you have a dense profile where we cut it into cells that you are getting it right industrially if there is many of what we call zero cells, one portion of it will just die suddenly and there will be nothing to fall back on.
Take an example; Cocoa as a potential industrial product that can do wonders and Rubber too. In our own system we are still at low level of industrial development where by agro allied should be making a difference. What you have to do is to carry out an analysis of who is doing what on the commodity; Rubber for example.
Of course those who grow the trees, those who tap it, those who do the basic processing and then make the rubber available for those who are going to make tyres, condoms, gloves and other industrial products or things that are going to be used by heavy engineering and what you then do as policy designers is to see where the impediments are.
That Crumb rubber having been obtained from raw rubber can now be targeted on those other industries requiring rubber products as inputs. Now, the most beautiful thing that could have happened to this country would have been to use hydrocarbon as a product which can then have a chain link for real sector development.
From a barrel of oil you get 2000 products. That is a master piece around which we can build an industrial policy. This can be an opportunity of linking the various aspects of manufacturing. If you can do that the restiveness in the Niger Delta area will become a story because you will be able to employ all those kids in several hundreds and hundreds of industries, which utilise this raw material-Hydrocarbonâ€.