The Director-General, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Professor Eghosa Osaghae has advised the federal government to adopt an export-demand industrialisation policy similar to the Bangladeshi model.
Osaghae, a former Vice-Chancellor of Igbinedion University, Okada in Edo State, said the policy had been identified as the major propeller of Bangladeshi economic turnaround.
Osaghae made the call recently in Lagos during the Ambassadorial briefing with the Bangladesh High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Masudur Rahman.
He explained that the export-demand industrialisation policy would enable Nigeria to respond to the global market and also exploit beyond its borders.
The Director-General noted that this policy would also enable Nigeria to invest in its neighbouring countries which is the principle of immediate Neighbourliness as part of economic diplomacy.
According to him, “The main thrust of the Bangladeshi’s story is that it is hinged on Export-demand industrialisation, which means they are responding to the global market not only in terms of how people can come to invest in Bangladesh but how Bangladesh can exploit beyond its borders.
“We are doing that but we are still following the old-style import-substitution industrialisation policy, which is also helpful in growing our local capacity. We should be doing more of those things to shore up our exports. As part of our economic diplomacy, we should invest in our neighbouring countries which is the principle of immediate Neighbourliness which is very crucial to our foreign policy.”
Osaghae however added: “But, maybe we should become more conspicuous in investing in our neighbours. And I think we have started with railway extensions to Niger. If you go to Togo, you would hear stories about the electricity supplied there and largely subsidized by Nigeria. It would help strengthen Nigeria’s overall influence.
“So, because Bangladesh has strong evidence-based successes in these areas, I think there is a lot we can get through Bangladesh in the area of closer collaboration and partnership.”