The Chairman, Heir Holdings, Mr. Tony Elumelu, on Tuesday said the Federal Government must work with the private sector to develop indigenous technologies, noting that such innovations were also significant to the advancement of the Nigerian Military in the fight against insurgency in the North-East.
Elumelu stated this in a lecture he delivered at the National Defence College, Abuja, arguing that Nigeria had yet to come out of its acute dependence on goods importation.
He said the Federal Government must follow the path of other former third world countries such as Brazil, India and Pakistan, which had now grown their indigenous technologies and reduced the dependence on imports.
Elumelu stated, “The Nigerian private sector, the Federal Government and the Military need to work together and there is no blame game. We need to create an environment to make the local industrial complex work as it befits the 21st century”.
“We still depend on imports for most of our needs. In comparison with countries like India, Pakistan and Brazil, which share the same colonial history with Nigeria, they are now nuclear powers while we still depend on imports of our military arsenals.”
He added, “One disadvantage of this is that countries, which supply some of our needs, have held us to ransom as experiences showed in the past.
“The point is that Nigeria cannot develop except we start to promote made-in-Nigeria goods and cut our high import rate. Nigeria needs a strong modern technology in its military to be able to play its leadership role in Africa. The private sector is also going to drive a major part of this. Therefore, the Military, the Federal Government and the private sector must support research and investments in this regard.”