Understanding the Concept of Industrialization (A Case Study of Nigeria)

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Industrialization is a major characteristic of a developed nation. In fact, no nation is said to be developed without a huge presence of industrialization. Most developing countries are striving to increase their level of industrialization but is so unfortunate that Nigeria is still far behind. This is mainly due to the high level of past corrupt leaders of the nation. Industrialization is like a breath of oxygen to a nation, without it a nation can end up as a dead country. Industrialization improves a country’s economy.

What is Industrialization?

Industrialization can simply be defined as a country’s economy transition from an agrarian economy to an industrial (manufacturing) economy. Manual labour done by individuals is replaced by machines for mass production, assembly lines replaces craftsmen. Economic growth is a major characteristic of industrialization. The use of technological innovation and more distribution of labour efficiently is also a major characteristics of industrialization.

Industrial Revolution

Industrial revolution is the first transformation from an agricultural economy to a mechanized one.

The first stage of Industrial revolution took place from the mid 18th to early 19th century in North America and certain areas of Europe. Industrialization started from the Great Britain, then Belgium followed by Germany before France. This early stage were characterized by technological progress, movement from rural work to industrial labour, investing financially in industrial structure, and early improvements on theories and development in class consciousness.

The second stage of industrialization revolution can be trace to the mid nineteenth century after the steam engine was refined, internal combustion engine was invented, the construction of railways, electric power lines, canals and  harnessing of electricity.

The industrial revolution led to a mass expansion of wealth among people, it also led to well being, increased specialization of labour, and allowed cities to accommodate larger population.

By the end of the twentieth century East Asia as become an industrialized part of the world. Notably also, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa also known as the BRICS states underwent industrialization process during this period. Most of those countries especially Russia and China are now fully industrialized.

The Scenario of Nigeria

Shortly after independence the Nigerian government started looking for ways to get the country industrialized. The government formulated a four years national development plan than from 1962 to 1968. The plan was to strengthen the manufacturing sector of the economy. Because of lack of implementation and the Nigerian civil, the plan never saw the light of the day. Successive government had made various efforts to industrialize the country but because of the high level of corruption the country is still lagging behind in terms of industrialization.

Nigeria is a country filled with a lot of intellectual brains, if given the enabling environment can bring about the much needed industrialization to the country. The government should grant access to credit for individuals that can contribute to the technological improvement of the nation.

The government should try as much as possible to encourage the use of home made goods in order to improve productivity.

What Nigeria needs the most is the zeal and willingness for our political leaders to successfully formulate and implement policies that would bring the adequate and much needed industrialization to the country. This can only be achieved by a very clear economic vision and strategic development which should also involve the private sector.

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