Saturday, 2 September 2017

NIGERIA HAS BEEN TALKING ABOUT DIVERSIFICATION FOR A LONG TIME BUT HAS BEEN UNABLE TO DO SO, SAYS DR. MAGNUS KPAKOL, CEO, ECONOMIC & BUSINESS STRATEGIES

Dr. Magnus L. Kpakol, CEO, Economic & Business Strategies
Experts have urged government to create enabling environment for entrepreneurs so as to boost exportation of Nigerian-made goods in the country. They made the submission on Tuesday, in Abuja at a forum organized to solicit for Federal Government attention towards diversifying the economy.

The convener of the lecture, Dr. Magnus L. Kpakol, who is also the CEO of Economic and Business Strategies (EBS), pointed out that the country has been talking about diversification for a long time but had been unable to do so, adding that it was difficult because the country is deriving money from crude oil.

Dr. Kpakol noted that the country was not competitive as it ought to be because it has been unable to produce goods and services at a competitive price. He said: “We have to be able to produce goods and services at the rate that makes us very competitive and somehow we have not been able to do that because our competences have been minimized by that fact that we have got a lot of money that is flowing in through oil. The prices of crude oil began to rise and we got comfortable with that and so it made us not to realize that we should spend more time and energy developing the order areas. That is why we have been talking about diversifying the economy for a long time but we haven’t done it because we are getting money from some were but now we are faced with the situation that has to be addressed.”

Dr. Kpakol cautioned that the price of crude oil has declined and it is not very likely that it was going to rise very sharply as we have seen before, adding that there are alternatives. He stressed that government must find alternatives. He said: “We have to diversify because we have not done very well with crude oil because it is very capital intensive and our people don’t have the skill set necessary to be involved in that industry as they would like, but I think we have alternatives.”

According to him, agriculture now represents just about 26percent of export receipt which he said was not really good adding that, GDP would increase if Nigeria diversify into agriculture and more people would be producing goods and service, causing the Naira to become stronger if people are buying Nigerian products.
In his own words: “If you look at the mode of transportation across Africa you would see why the trade is not Robust as it should be. A situation where somebody travelling from Gambia have to go to the Europe before coming into Nigeria and that is not a good and healthy situation for trade but I think that as we do more inclusive trade, if you look at trade among advanced economies, the trade they have is overlapping trade.”

While speaking about the private sector he said: “When we talk of Public Private Partnership (PPP) in Nigeria we can do more, we really need to involve the private sectors and lot more urging government to have a way of interfacing, interacting, partnering strongly with the private sector.”

Dr. Samuel Nii-Noi Ashong, in his remark said: “I think the government has not been able to understand the way the enabling environment for such exports to be proactively created in the country and this is happening in international finance, international trade where many economies are trying to ensure trade stabilization to strengthen the external sector participation in international trade. He maintained that for the fact that Nigeria has mono-economy is not really helping our exchange rate and the best way to do it is to ensure that we increase in our export. (Guardian)

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