By James Ezema
Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh has reiterated its readiness for partnership with Nigeria to revive the West African country’s textile industry and boost her power sector.
The High Commissioner of Bangladesh to Nigeria, Md. Shameem Ahsan who made this known in Abuja at a media parley, noted that “Nigeria has past glory in textile industry, and we are working on a partnership to revive the industry.
“Bangladesh is today the second largest exporter of garment in the world, second to China”.
He, therefore, expressed his country’s eagerness to partner in enlivening the textile industry in Nigeria.
Checks by Abuja Business Reports revealed that the South Asian country’s textile and clothing industries provide the single source of growth in Bangladesh’s rapidly developing economy, with exports of textiles and garments as the principal source of her foreign exchange earnings.
Further checks confirmed that as of 2016, Bangladesh held the second place in producing garments just after China. Bangladesh is the world’s second-largest apparel exporter of western fast fashion brands. Sixty percent of the export contracts of western brands are with European buyers and about forty percent with American buyers.
On the power sector, the utility electricity sector in Bangladesh has one national grid with an installed capacity of 21,419 MW as of September 2019. Before 2019, the country’s total installed electricity generation capacity (including captive power) was 15,351 megawatts (MW) as of January 2017 and 20,000 megawatts in 2018.
But Nigeria since 2015 has 23 power generating plants connected to the national grid with the capacity to generate 11,165.4 MW of electricity, very much less than the 40,000 megawatts needed to sustain the basic needs of the country’s population.
Between January and May 2018, Nigeria’s available capacity hovered between 7,457MW and 8,034MW, but by Bangladesh’s power miracle, the country with 163 million population improved her power sector capacity by 6,068MW in just two years. And not satisfied with the power miracle, recently Bangladesh began construction of another 2.4 gigawatt (GW) Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant expected to go into full operation in 2023.
From a negative 5.48% in 1971, Bangladesh has made tremendous progress in all sectors of the economy where other countries took a century to accomplish.
The country is modern day success story, and it has successfully managed to shift itself far away from a “bottomless basket” label 45 years ago. During his visit to Dhaka, the Bangladesh capital, in 1974, Henry Kissinger, the then U.S. National Security Adviser and Secretary of State, under Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford administrations, had termed Bangladesh as a ‘bottomless basket’.
Today, Bangladesh is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, growing at 7.89% and has consistently maintained over 7% growth for many years, Ahsan revealed in a chat with journalists.
The country’s leader, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who was reelected as Prime Minister in December 2018 for the fourth term in office, in an interview affirmed that Bangladesh’s strong economic growth will not just continue, but will be accelerated, setting an annual growth target of 10% for herself by 2021. She told Nikkel Asian Review in 2018, “I always shoot for a higher rate.”
Bangladesh has overtaken many of her South Asian neighbours in health related achievements. The pharmaceutical industry in Bangladesh is one of the most developed technology sectors within the country, manufacturing products like insulin, hormones, and cancer drugs.
According to findings by Abuja Business Reports, the pharmaceutical sector provides 97% of the total medicinal requirement of Bangladesh’s local market, with the industry exporting medicines to global markets, including Europe. And to ensure equitable healthcare for every resident in Bangladesh, an extensive network of health services was established, with no fewer than three hospital beds per 10,000 people.
The country is the fourth largest producer of rice and fish and the seventh largest producers of mangoes in the world. Bangladesh’s many development miracles is reason former UN Secretary General often referred to the country as “A Development Model”, with country ready to share her success stories and partner with Nigeria.