UnloCKING Nigeria’s potential: shifting Focus to Non-Oil exports

written by Mr Izu

In the vast landscape of global economics, Nigeria stands as a nation of immense promise. Endowed with abundant natural resources and a population teeming with potential, Nigeria has all the ingredients required to become a powerhouse in the global economy. Yet, it is a paradoxical reality that this nation, often referred to as “too rich to be poor,” finds itself categorized as an economically backward state by reputable international organizations.

While countries like Russia are renowned as the world’s gas station, Nigeria, on the other hand, shines as the global hub for commodities. However, it’s disheartening to witness Nigeria remaining predominantly focused on the exportation of raw materials. The urgent need of the hour is a shift towards exporting value-added goods.

One pressing issue that hinders this transition is the level of financial support extended to businesses by commercial banks in Nigeria. It’s disconcerting that Nigerian banks report profits while manufacturing firms are often forced to shut down due to a credit crunch. This status quo is neither sustainable nor motivating.

Building a robust agribusiness value chain is a monumental task, but it’s one that holds great promise. The agribusiness sector, a subset of manufacturing, boasts more stable pricing in the global market compared to commodities. It is imperative that not only Nigeria but the entire African continent prioritize the development of its agribusiness sector, with a pivotal role to be played by the private sector. Effective banking regulation is crucial to turning this vision into reality.

Consider, for instance, Nigeria’s export of dry cassava chips to China. Rather than simply exporting this raw material, there’s a pressing need to process it further into various derivatives such as gluten-free flour, sorbitol, ethanol, and starch. These derivatives hold immense global demand potential and must be approached with intentionality to address Nigeria’s foreign exchange deficit.

The non-oil exports sector in Nigeria finds itself at a critical juncture, requiring immediate intervention to enhance its performance. Through non-oil export promotion, Nigeria and Africa can harness their resources to create wealth, improve the quality of the economy, elevate the standard of living, and enhance their global economic rating.

In conclusion, the untapped potential of Nigeria and Africa’s non-oil exports sector is a treasure waiting to be unearthed. It’s time to shed the shackles of complacency and embrace a future where value addition, innovative processing, and effective banking regulation pave the way to prosperity. Nigeria, once deemed “too rich to be poor,” can indeed become a beacon of economic growth, setting an example for the world to follow. The time for action is now.

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