The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed plans to diversify the economy by supporting the increase of production of various goods and services in the country.
This was announced by the Director of Corporate Communication Department, Isaac Okoroafor during a two-day consumer sensitization programme in Rivers state.
Okoroafor made known that developing the local industries has become crucial in recent times as the country cannot continue to rely solely on oil and gas revenue. He was quoted to have said no country grows by relying solely on oil revenue as it is not organic because the technological know-how and expertise that bring about the revenue are foreign and hold no local inputs that can grow stages of local economy.
“By producing goods locally, jobs will be created and the value of the Naira will appreciate and the chain effect is that the domestic economy will become vibrant.
“How many Nigerians are employed in the oil industries? Nigeria has oil, but does not have the technology and manpower to bring it to the usable state, they extract it, send it to them, they refine and we go back to buy. How has that affected our economy here? How many jobs has it created among others? This is the reason for the call for diversification of the economy.
“But on the other hand, the source of income of the local manufacturers is organic; every of the processes of their products is local, that us why CBN is driving the growing and production of cotton, rice among other agricultural and agro-allied products. We want the textiles mills to come back on stream, jobs will be created, importation of textiles will be discourage, to save the country of huge capital flight.”
According to Okoroafor, who was represented by the Assistant Director in the Department, Samual Okugbue, developing the local industries such as the film-making, textile/garment industries and other Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in the country would bring about growth of the country and her citizens, create employments and boost the foreign reserve of the nation.
While commenting on border closure, the CBN Director said that if the foreign companies that Nigerian businessmen were patronising missed the patronage as a result of the border closure, they should come down to Nigeria and establish their companies and businesses here.
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He stated that the huge importation of agricultural products such as rice, chicken, textiles, amongst others was suffocating the local economy.
Okoroafor went on to say that Nigerians should emulate the Chinese economy, referring to the starting point of China when people rejected China products and termed it fake. Therefore, he said if China could become a leader in the manufacturing sector in the world, Nigeria can do so if its citizens support made in Nigeria products.