Diversification dominates investors’ conference
From OKORO CHINEDU in Lagos, Nigeria
LAGOS, (CAJ News) – THE 2016 Standard Bank West Africa Investors’ Conference has ended in Lagos with stakeholders proposing diversification to resuscitate the economy.
The event, now in its seventh edition which had the theme, “Unlocking Nigeria’s Potential. Growth Through Diversification.”
Chairman of Stanbic Holdings, Atedo Peterside, said the theme was partly derived from the government’s agenda for broadening revenue sources against the backdrop of lowering commodity prices.
He said diversification of the economy had become imperative considering the growing needs of the populace for new jobs and other welfare packages that would help reduce poverty levels.
Peterside said instensive action was required to drive sustainable economic growth.
“The point to realize is that economic diversification can only take place meaningfully if new capital investment activity takes place to take maximum advantage of increased domestic competitiveness,” he said.
Chief Executive of the bank, Sola David-Borha, reiterated the need for the public and private sectors to work together to tackle the economic problems, especially the projected imminent job losses and higher
The event in Lagos came on the back of the country’s economic problems in the wake of the slide in oil prices, a situation that has triggered a growing debate on how best to uplift the economy.
The plummeting oil prices have heightened calls to diversify the economy from a reliance on oil.
Dr Yemi Kale, Statistician General and Chief Executive Officer of the National Bureau of Statistics, disputed there was an overdependence on the industry.
The economic structure of Nigeria is not solely dependent on oil and gas, albeit an important part,” Kale said.
“If one looks at the recent revised national accounts, it is evident that oil value added has been negative for years now, and in fact it is the non-oil sector that had sustained the economy. This is not to say the oil
sector doesn’t have indirect impact on the non-oil economy,” Kale argued.
– CAJ News
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