Almost everything we use, from my laptop to the braided hair extension I constantly fiddled with as I wrote this story, went through some manufacturing process.
Industrial policy or industrialisation drives the economic activity concerned with processing raw materials and manufacturing goods in factories which helps economies achieve broader societal goals. This was especially true for one-time low-income countries such as Taiwan or China.
These East Asian countries succeeded in moving people out of informal subsistence farming into formal manufacturing jobs. The move improved their productivity, made the agriculture sector more efficient and raised government revenue.
Here is an excerpt from the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) for 2017 - 2020: A revitalised manufacturing sector will create jobs, stimulate foreign exchange earnings and grow micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
No doubt, Nigeria needs an industry that can reduce its 33% unemployment rate. Roughly 210 million people work in China's manufacturing sector—more than Nigeria's entire population. Here at home, three subsidiaries of Dangote Industries Limited, one of Nigeria's major manufacturers, employ half of the country's manufacturing workforce.
But, the manufacturing sector's growth, which should augment other sectors' efforts to improve employment and create economic opportunities, has tapered off in recent years.