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Thursday, April 18, 2024

AFDB CHIEF ADESINA ON NIGERIA PROPERITY AND THE PRIVATE SECTOR

Nigeria’s future depends on supporting the private sector to unlock wealth and lift the populace, according to Africa Development Bank Group President Dr. Akinwumi Adesina.

He criticizes Nigeria’s economic lag, calls for rapid, systematic development through private sector initiatives. 

Nigeria needs to expand forex supply and availability through export-oriented manufacturing to prevent instability and reduce reliance on crude oil exports. 

President Tinubu’s decision boosts foreign direct investment.

Nigeria’s manufacturing sector, accounting for 50% of imports, only accounts for 3% of export revenue. 

Adesina suggests integrating into global value chains and focusing on comparative advantage, specialization, and competitiveness. A well-developed manufacturing sector with export orientation can drive innovation, accelerate industrial policies, and drive export market development. 

However, Nigeria’s total export value is only $33.5 billion. Nigeria’s industry faces challenges due to high electricity costs and unreliability, making it uncompetitive and brown, with companies relying on expensive generators and diesel. 

Nigeria must address its energy deficiency and reliability to maintain competitiveness in its industries. 

Investments in gas, hydropower, solar systems, direct power, industrial mini grids, and efficient utilities are needed to reduce technical and non-technical losses. 

The industrial manufacturing sector faces challenges like high electricity costs and unreliability, leading firms to seek stability in neighboring countries.

Nigeria faces challenges in industrial development due to poor transport, ports, and logistic infrastructure. The Africa Continental Free Trade Area offers potential for export-driven manufacturing. To unlock capacities, Nigeria must address infrastructure bottlenecks, establish quality standards, ensure land access, and manage investment relations. 

Skills Enhancement Zones can help. Agriculture must be transformed, and foreign exchange and direct investment inflows are crucial for rural economies.

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