The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has called on industrialists and manufacturers to explore new technologies and management practices for better productivity.
Aregbesola made the call at the third International Annual Conference of Faculty of Management Science, Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo in Lagos on Wednesday.
Theme of the annual conference was, “Managing Public and Private Sectors for Sustainable Development in the New Normal.
He said that the new normal in the world due to COVID-19 pandemic required new thinking and backward integration.
“The time calls for the best in us and it calls for creativity and self-reliance.
“Industrialists and manufacturers will need to cut down drastically or find local substitutes on imported raw materials and machinery.
“They should also be exploring foreign markets in order to bring in foreign exchange,” said Aregbesola, who was represented by his aide, Mr Babatunde Olaoluwa.
He added that it had become imperative for the public sector, more than ever before, to cut cost by avoiding waste and be more productive.
“The public sector should guide the private sector and the rest of society to full recovery and a new regime of prosperity.
“With the shutdown of industrial production globally, the grounding of air travels and vehicular movements, oil price fell by 45 per cent to 30 dollars in the first quarter of 2020.
“This development was a nightmare for the Nigerian economy, considering that oil accounts for 80 per cent of government revenues,”Aregbesola said.
He noted that the Federal Ministries of Interior and Justice procured presidential pardon and amnesty for some inmates in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at the nation’s custodial centres.
In her opening remarks, the LASU Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello, said that the Faculty of Management Sciences had been in forefront in human capital development which was the mainstay of any economy, be it developed or developing.
Olatunji-Bello said that before COVID-19 pandemic, the Nigerian government had been grappling with weak recovery from the 2014 oil price shock, with the GDP growth rate from 2.5 to 2 per cent.
“It is as a result of relatively low oil prices and limited fiscal space.
“With this brief economic challenges, coupled with the ravaging negative effect of COVID-19 pandemic on every facet of the economy, the discourse of this conference can not have come at any time better than now,” she said.
Prof. Babatunde Yusuf, Dean, Faculty of Management Sciences,LASU, said that theme focused on how public and private sectors could manage the economy despite COVID-19 pandemic era.
Yusuf said that public and private sectors should always be ready to react, adopt and prepare for any changes or unforeseen environmental factors in the future.