Aremu made the assertion on Friday in Abuja at the opening of the 2017 Africa Industrialisation Day (AID) Policy Dialogue.
The theme of the dialogue is “African Industrial Development: A Pre–Condition for Effective and Sustainable Continental Free Trade Area’’.
The programme was organised by Industrial Global Union, Nigeria Council, in conjunction with Fredrich Ebert Stiftung (FES).
Aremu said that the present administration operated on a three-point agenda of war against corruption, insecurity and economic recovery.
“The political resolution of Global Industrialisation adopted last year at the second Congress in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, encourages the fight against corruption.
“Therefore, we commend the recent sacking of Mr Abdulrasheed Maina, a notorious pension predator.
“We also welcome the ordered probe into how he got dubiously reinstated into the civil service after he had long been declared wanted by the EFCC on corruption charges.”
Aremu also commended the EFCC for its performance and urged the federal government to quickly reconstitute the board of National Pension Commission, to safeguard pension assets.
He charged the acting chief executive of Pencom to be alive to his responsibilities and to engage stakeholders through more openness and accountability.
Commenting on Nigeria’s economy, the former Vice President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), decried the continued export of raw materials and importation of finished goods.
“Manufacturing, scandalously contributes less than three per cent of GDP compared to the 70s when manufacturing contributed as much as 30 per cent.
“This is no thanks to massive factory closure caused by energy cost and prohibitive production costs.
“With almost 200 million people, a quarter of Africa’s population (every third African is a Nigerian and by look every African is a Nigerian!).
“The fate of Africa with respect to development depends on Nigeria’s economic performance or lack of it.
“This explains why our campaign for beneficiation takes root here. Industrial Global Union tasks us to struggle for strong industrial policies that advance social, economic and environmental sustainability,‘’ he said.
Also, Mr Jean Bakole, UNIDO Regional Director to Nigeria Office, said the theme of the 2017 AID was apt as it would encourage African countries to sign a free trade agreement to reduce barriers such as import quota and tariffs, among others.
According to Bakole, a Continental Free Trade Area is aimed at promoting inter-Africa trade, which is a very essential for sustainable economic development of the continent.
He, however, said that African countries needed to build industries infrastructures such as industrial parks, special economic zones, industrial clusters and energy infrastructure, among others.
“Africa has no choice than to accept that innovation drives industrialization today,’’ Bakole added.
Reports said that the Policy Round table was organised as part of events to commemorate the celebration of the AID.
The objective of the Policy Dialogue is to critically examine the opportunities for Africa to diversify its economy, promote mass decent employment with respect to workers’ rights, among others.
The AID is celebrated nationwide on Nov. 20 of every year.