Experts have subscribed to diversification as a strategy for economic growth in Nigeria.
This was discussed at the Coronation Merchant Bank webinar titled, “Nigeria’s Economic Landscape – a blend of optimism and uncertainty.”
Joseph Nnana, Chief Economist at Development Bank of Nigeria noted that diversification of production and trade structure is a very important tool for the well-being of any economy, adding that lack of diversification often leads to increase vulnerability and shocks that can obviously undermine prospects for long term economic growth.
To achieve a full diversification strategy, however, he suggested restructuring the economy. He said, “We have to restructure the economy where the movement of factors of production within and across the sector is towards higher productivity so diversification can be achieved in private sector investment, foreign investment, infrastructure RMB and so on.
“If you drive down further, agriculture provides the kind of passive income for investors as there is a huge opportunity in the wholesale and in the retail segment of that value chain. In the real estate as well; speaking to Abuja in particular, if you invest in land in Abuja, you will get a 25 to 40 percent return within 40 months which is remarkable.”
Dr. Biodun Adedipe, Founder and Chief Consultant of B. Adedipe Associates Limited (BAA Consult) canvassed for an export-led economy as well as a focus on the manufacturing and the agriculture sector.
He said, “If you look at economies that have evolved over time, there has been pattern hinged over a very solid base of which they build services overtime for services to become a bigger part of the economy but we have that aberration of structure in the Nigerian Economy. It means we have to focus on two critical sectors – manufacturing and agriculture and ensure that we produce more of what we consume.
“A lot of things are happening in the real estate sector but the question is; how do we create value that we can take advantage of? Most of this sector are at a disconnect with the government revenue. Agriculture contributes the bulk of our GDP, but interrogate that sector, how much does that sector contribute to tax revenue for the government?
Andrew Nevin, Partner & Chief Economist at PwC Nigeria said there is a huge opportunity for high-value export of wheat and other local goods as well as in areas of music and movie making and fashion.
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