Dangote tasks FG to diversify economy

Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, has said that Nigeria’s survival depends on the rapid diversification of the economy. “Since oil prices are unlikely to rebound any time soon, it would not be an exaggeration to assert that the very “existence” of our country is now hinged on the rapid diversification of our economy, especially in the manufacturing, agriculture and mining sectors,” he said.

Dangote spoke yesterday at the 44th Annual General Meeting of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), which held in Abuja.

The theme of the meeting is “diversifying the Nigerian Economy: the Role of Government in Manufacturing.” The President of Dangote Group stated that in the face of economic recession confronting Nigeria, it has now become very evident for the country to urgently develop other income streams by diversifying its economy since it can no longer depend solely on crude oil exports to fund its economy.

Diversifying the Nigerian economy can sometimes be misconstrued to mean neglecting the oil and gas sector. On the contrary, the oil and gas sector needs to be deepened and expanded to enable us unlock the full benefits in the hydrocarbon value chain.

“Even though diversification of the economy has to be private sector driven, government has a huge role to play in creating a conducive climate for businesses to thrive. One of the biggest challenges in Nigeria today is the deteriorating macroeconomic environment.

He challenged government on the needs to quickly restore confidence in the economy by beefing up its external reserves while making concerted efforts to improve the overall business climate.

Investors always look out for stability of the local currency amongst other factors in making decisions on whether or not to risk their investment in any economy. Needless to say, to effectively diversify the economy, the private sector would require foreign exchange to make the necessary investments in new sectors.


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