I would just love it if these D-Day celebrations sparked off a Pearl Harbour moment in Nigeria with President Tinubu summoning the country’s leading industrialists to Aso Rock and getting them to agree an action plan

Ayo Akinfe

[1] If you ask me, the three most significant events in the history of mankind are the Renaissance, the Industrial Revolution and World War Two. They altered the production process to such an extent that humanity changed forever

[2] World War Two is one of my great passions, which is why I have been following the D-Day anniversary religiously over the last week. For me they evoke memories of what man can do when he sets his mind to it. Pearl Harbour’s bombing in particular, altered the production process in an unprecedented and revolutionary manner

[3] How I wish President Tinubu was in Normandy so he could be briefed on how the conflict quadrupled industrial output across Europe and the US. More importantly, he needs to come up with a plan to raise output in a similar manner in Nigeria

[4] After the US officially declared war on Japan in December 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt invited the chairmen of the three major US automobile companies to the White House and gave them production quotas to fulfil. You know what, they all met these targets within a year

[5] Totally unprepared for war, lacking military equipment and not having any armaments manufacturer who could equip a modern army, President Roosevelt knew he was in big trouble as the US was at war with Japan and Germany that had spent the last 10 years arming themselves to the teeth. Knowing he had zero chance of winning this war against the industrial armies of Japan and Germany, President Roosevelt summoned William Knudsen, the president of General Motors, Henry Ford, the president of Ford Motors and Kaufman Keller, the president of Chrysler to the White House for a make-or-break meeting and read them the riot act

[6] President Roosevelt told them in plain language that they had to turn their factories into war machines or the US would be crushed. These three gentlemen did not disappoint him as they delivered big time

[7] It took the US automobile industry 18 months to get up and running but when they did, they out-produced everybody else by such a gulf that there was only going to be one winner in the war. General Motors became the largest military contractor on earth, manufacturing 119,562,000 shells, 206,000 aircraft engines, 97,000 bombers, 301,000 aircraft propellers, 198,000 diesel engines, 1,900,000 machine guns and 854,000 military trucks.

[8] Chrysler had never made tanks before but the company built a factory from scratch. Known as the Detroit Tank Arsenal, this Chrysler plant made roughly as many tanks during the war than all the Nazi factories combined

[8] For its part, Ford, became the nation’s third largest military contractor. It built a production facility called Willow Run, the largest factory under one roof in the history of the world, churning out 18,482 B-24 Liberators bombers. So many labourers worked at Willow Run, the government had to build a city from scratch to house them. It was named Bomber City, providing the workforce with homes and infrastructure near the factory

[9] Nigeria finds herself in a similar war situation today. President Tinubu needs some chief executives he can call to Aso Rock and ask them to fill the vacuum by manufacturing 2m tractors, 5m electricity transformers, six 10,000MW power plants, 500,000 railway carriages, 200m tonnes of processed foods, 100m tonnes of clothing materials, etc to save Nigeria

[10] Unfortunately, 64 years after independence, there are no such industrialists and manufacturers a Nigerian president can call on. Nigeria's rich made their money shamelessly importing finished products and distributing them, looting government funds or getting government contracts. Is our problem really bad political leadership?