UNARGUABLY, unemployment
has reached alarming proportions
in the country, especially among
graduates of tertiary institutions.
This is partly because the Nigerian
economy cannot absorb the
growing number of graduates
produced annually by the nation’s
tertiary institutions.
Compounding the problem,
tertiary institutions produce more
graduates in the humanities and
social sciences as a result their
failure to adhere to the national
admission policy, which prescribes
60:40 ratio in favour of the sciences.
The areas of specialisation of
the graduates notwithstanding,
experts insist that sustainable
employment can be created via the
manufacturing sector.
They are of the view that if state
governments can revitalise the
moribund industries in their states,
this will reduce the unemployment
rate, while boosting their internally
generated revenue as well. Several
moribund industries, which were
unfortunately blue-chip industries
of yesteryears, now dot many parts
of the country.
Concerned stakeholders,
therefore, acclaim the recent
pronouncement of Gov. Okezie
Ikpeazu of Abia to resuscitate
the Golden Guinea Breweries in
Umuahia. Mr Bonnie Iwuoha, the
Commissioner for Information and
Strategy, broke the cheery news
about the state government’s plans
to reopen the brewery when he
addressed journalists recently in
Umuahia.
In addition to Golden Guinea,
the commissioner said that the
currently servicing the needs of
pharmaceutical industries outside the
state. Onuiri said that the company
had employed more than 500 workers
since its resumption to ensure full
circle production.
“Right now, we have many people
working here; we have employed
more than 500 workers. Of course, we
will take more people if need be,” he
said. However, the story is somewhat
different with regard to the Modern
Ceramic Industries in Umuahia. After
years of inactivity, the company was
handed over to UCL Consortium,
promoted by the Catholic Diocese of
Government which successfully
resuscitated Pabod Breweries.
“Rivers is one example; the once
moribund Pabod Breweries was
rebuilt by the last administration in
the state. Today, Pabod Breweries
engages many hands and it is the
proud producer of Grand Beer and
the now fancied or popular malt
drink, Grand Malt. This can be
replicated by the Abia Government,
using the Golden Guinness
Breweries and the Modern
Ceramics Company in Umuahia as
the platform,’’ he said.
In the same vein, Prof Aloysius
Okolie of the Department of Political
Science, University of Nigeria,
Nsukka, urged state governors in
the South East geopolitical zone to
revive the collapsed industries in
their states in order to create more
jobs.
He said that the revival of the
industries would create more
employment opportunities for
millions of jobless youths, while
generating additional revenue for
the states. “Revitalising of these
industries will be a means of
diversifying the economy of the
states, especially now when the
country is experiencing economic
melt-down,’’ he added.
There has been a drastic decline
in allocations from the Federation
Account to states and local
governments as result of a sharp
decline in crude oil prices in the
international market. “Some states
and local governments in the
country now find it difficult to pay
their workers’ monthly salaries
because of this drop in federal
allocations,” Okolie said.
He, therefore, commended Gov.
Ikpeazu’s move to revive Golden
Guinea Breweries in Umuahia,
describing it as a welcome
development. He, however,
suggested that the state government
should not own 100 per cent equity
shares in the brewery.
“Government should have at
most 30 per cent equity shares so
as to allow the management of
the brewery to be in the hands
of private people who are expert
in managing such companies.
Government should also carry
along the host community in order
to protect equipment and facilities
in that brewery,” he added.
Okolie said that pragmatic efforts
should be made to revive industries
like the cashew industry in Enugu,
the ceramics industry in Umuahia,
among others, which had become
moribund. “The industrial sector
is a critical sector of any economy;
it helps a country not to depend
completely on foreign products.
“Nigeria is a dumping ground
for foreign goods today because of
the years of neglect which led to the
collapse of many industries. Other
governors in South East should
emulate the Abia governor’s good
example of reviving the popular
Golden Guinea Brewery Umuahia,
in efforts to improve the economy
of their states and reducing
unemployment,” he said.
Analysts underscore the need
to for the federal, state and local
governments to resuscitate all
the moribund industries in their
domains. “This because industries
provide employment opportunities
for the youth, particularly
graduates of engineering and
physical sciences,’’ some of the
analysts said. (NAN)
Farmers using irrigation system to water their farm
International Glass Industry in Aba
would also bounce back to life. Golden
Guinea was established in 1960 by the
administration of Dr Michael Okpara,
the then Premier of the defunct
Eastern Region, and incorporated two
years later.
It became an economic epicentre
and financial livewire, not only for
the people of the then Eastern Region,
but also for natives of Umuahia
who enjoyed the socio-economic
benevolence it offered through its
social responsibility programmes.
In fact, the products of Golden
Guinea Breweries like Golden Guinea
lager, Eagle Stout and Bergdorf lager
received appreciable patronage from
1960 to 2005 when it was eventually
shut. Concerned stakeholders,
nonetheless, urge Ikpeazu to refrain
from making empty promises like
his predecessor, Chief T.A. Orji, who
promised to revive the company.
Indeed, Orji in 2012 inaugurated
a committee to look into ways of
reviving the 54-year-old company. He
vowed to revive the brewery before
leaving office, a pledge he failed to
fulfil.
On the other hand, the International
Glass Industry (IGI), Aba, also owned
by the Abia Government, was leased
to the Churchgate Group and it is
showing signs of improvement. IGI’s
General Manager, Mr Kelechi Onuiri,
said recently in Aba that the company
had resumed the production of glass
products.
He said that the factory, which
started production late in March,
produced and supplied more than
740,278 pharmaceutical bottles within
two weeks of its resumption.
He said that the factory was currently servicing the needs of
pharmaceutical industries outside the
state. Onuiri said that the company
had employed more than 500 workers
since its resumption to ensure full
circle production.
“Right now, we have many people
working here; we have employed
more than 500 workers. Of course, we
will take more people if need be,” he
said. However, the story is somewhat
different with regard to the Modern
Ceramic Industries in Umuahia. After
years of inactivity, the company was
handed over to UCL Consortium,
promoted by the Catholic Diocese of Umuahia. Regrettably, the company’s
handover could not bring it back to
life.
Mr Uwakwe Nwachukwu, an
economist, recalled that the Golden
Guinness Breweries was one of the
most successful breweries in Nigeria
until it became moribund, adding:
“Its collapse was mainly due to bad
or inefficient management.” He
said that board and management
appointments were not based on
knowledge and expertise, but purely
on political considerations.
“More often than not, round
pegs were put in square holes.
Consequently, the brewery, which
hitherto employed many hands and
created considerable wealth, died,’’
he said. Nwachukwu, who once
worked in Golden Guinea as a casual
employee for a fleeting period, said
that the idea of revitalising or rebuilding
the factory was, indeed, a
welcome development.
According to him, a lot of benefits
will accrue to the state and the people
if the factory is revived. “Other
ancillary jobs or businesses will spring
up within the factory environment
and this will also reduce the number
of unemployed persons in our society.
“In a time like this when
unemployment in Nigeria has
become a key challenge, the factory
will add a lot value to the economy of
Abia and the Nigerian economy as a
whole. Furthermore, it will be quite
plausible if the government could
give consideration to the revitalisation
of the Modern Ceramics Company,
Umuahia.
“The ceramics company has good
prospects for jobs as well as wealth
creation for the government and the
people,” he added. Nwachukwu
urged Ikpeazu not to relent in his
efforts to bring back the “dead
factories” back to life. He urged him
to borrow a leaf from the Rivers Government which successfully
resuscitated Pabod Breweries.
“Rivers is one example; the once
moribund Pabod Breweries was
rebuilt by the last administration in
the state. Today, Pabod Breweries
engages many hands and it is the
proud producer of Grand Beer and
the now fancied or popular malt
drink, Grand Malt. This can be
replicated by the Abia Government,
using the Golden Guinness
Breweries and the Modern
Ceramics Company in Umuahia as
the platform,’’ he said.
In the same vein, Prof Aloysius
Okolie of the Department of Political
Science, University of Nigeria,
Nsukka, urged state governors in
the South East geopolitical zone to
revive the collapsed industries in
their states in order to create more
jobs.
He said that the revival of the
industries would create more
employment opportunities for
millions of jobless youths, while
generating additional revenue for
the states. “Revitalising of these
industries will be a means of
diversifying the economy of the
states, especially now when the
country is experiencing economic
melt-down,’’ he added.
There has been a drastic decline
in allocations from the Federation
Account to states and local
governments as result of a sharp
decline in crude oil prices in the
international market. “Some states
and local governments in the
country now find it difficult to pay
their workers’ monthly salaries
because of this drop in federal
allocations,” Okolie said.
He, therefore, commended Gov.
Ikpeazu’s move to revive Golden
Guinea Breweries in Umuahia,
describing it as a welcome
development. He, however,
suggested that the state government
should not own 100 per cent equity
shares in the brewery.
“Government should have at
most 30 per cent equity shares so
as to allow the management of
the brewery to be in the hands
of private people who are expert
in managing such companies.
Government should also carry
along the host community in order
to protect equipment and facilities
in that brewery,” he added.
Okolie said that pragmatic efforts
should be made to revive industries
like the cashew industry in Enugu,
the ceramics industry in Umuahia,
among others, which had become
moribund. “The industrial sector
is a critical sector of any economy;
it helps a country not to depend
completely on foreign products.
“Nigeria is a dumping ground
for foreign goods today because of
the years of neglect which led to the
collapse of many industries. Other
governors in South East should
emulate the Abia governor’s good
example of reviving the popular
Golden Guinea Brewery Umuahia,
in efforts to improve the economy
of their states and reducing
unemployment,” he said.
Analysts underscore the need
to for the federal, state and local
governments to resuscitate all
the moribund industries in their
domains. “This because industries
provide employment opportunities
for the youth, particularly
graduates of engineering and
physical sciences,’’ some of the
analysts said. (NAN)

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