Inter-industry linkages and the contribution of the oil and gas industry to the growth of the Nigerian economy
Technological progress is the driving force of economic growth. The neoclassical growth models postulate that technological progress is derived from exogenous impact of production relationship while the endogenous growth models ascribe the source of technological progress to the ability of factors of production to respond to externalities generated by production activities in accordance with "learning-by-doing" complemented by R&D. This implies a convergence on the crucial relevance of technology in enhancing the effectiveness and value-adding functions of factors of production as the bedrock of economic growth. It follows intuitively that inter-industry linkage process, which involves multisectoral input-output interdependence of productive activities of different sectors of the economy, is germane to the value-adding capabilities of factors of production that propels economic growth. As a key sector with intrinsic versatility, the oil and gas industry in Nigeria has enormous linkage potentials that can be a cylinder for robust inter-industry linkage processes for sustainable growth of the Nigerian economy. Various linkage measures; backward and forward linkages, output multipliers; employment, income and value-added effects and multipliers for sectors of the Nigerian economy are computed and analysed with focus on the linkage significance of the oil and gas industry. It reveals that a formidable inter-industry linkage processes is not emerging with relative low level of integration of the oil and gas industry with other sectors of the economy. Hypothetical Extraction scenario indicates that the stimuli from the oil and gas industry are not inspiring. By policy simulation, it is discovered that the inter-industry linkage process cannot be significantly improved by more refining activities, suggesting the existence of low levels of absorptive capacities of the sectors of the economy arising from structural distortions and technological weakness. By implication, the effectiveness of factors of production, the critical requirement of economic growth, is hampered, compounded by the absence of system of innovation that could inspire the emergence of technological capabilities. Investments in social and economic services as well as physical infrastructures that leads to a bourgeoning income earning household sector that seeks to satisfy its consumption needs and create effective markets that facilitates inter-industry linkages is the veritable route towards innovation, endogenous technology and sustainable growth.