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Experts recommend diversification of the economy beyond oil as panacea to sustainable economic growth

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In the first quarter of 2022, oil and gas accounted for 90 percent of export income and 85 percent of government revenue.

This trend, according to financial experts has made the country a mono-product economy owing to its dependency on oil and gas.

Despite several efforts put in place by the Federal Government to reduce the country’s dependence on oil, stakeholders believe that oil no longer provides an endless source of revenue for the Nigerian economy, hence the need for the nation to shift towards a more varied structure of domestic production and trade to grow the economy.

Speaking at a forum recently organized by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Director of Trade and Exchange Department of the apex bank, Dr Ozemena Nnaji ldentified some of the challenges impeding export as a means of diversifying the economy to include: poor industrialization support for export activities; ineffective supply chain framework and absence of developed commodity exchange.

Nnaji asserted that with Nigeria surviving on a mono-product economy, growth and development will be minimal.

President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria(MAN), Mansur Ahmed was of the view that one of the major things that could help diversify the nation from a mono-economy was to increase the volume of local production.

Stressing that the manufacturing sector is not producing enough to meet export and local demands, Ahmed called for a legislation that would mandate the compulsory patronage of made in Nigeria goods, noting that it would go a long way in improving Nigeria’s economy.

The MAN President further noted the need for the Fiscal and Monetary authorities to align both policies to drive the economy.

On his part, Professor of Finance and Capital market, Uche Uwaleke suggested that Nigeria should promote Industrialization by tapping into the potentials of special economic zones.

Experts believe there are many benefits that could arise from more diversified economies but government and the private sector need more commitment and political will to make significant investments in sectors that can help reduce poverty, promote increase in export trade, engender higher productivity and enhance job creation.

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