CBN lauds potentials in non-oil sector for economic diversification

*Central Bank of Nigeria.

*Central Bank of Nigeria.

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

18 March 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele has said opportunities present in agricultural, solid minerals and the creative industry sectors of the economy have made the prospects of non-oil economy great.

Emefiele, who was speaking at the maiden edition of the New Telegraph Economic Summit on the theme: ‘Returning Nigeria to the Boom Days: Prospect of a Non-Oil Economy’, said the country is endowed with abundant arable land capable of supporting all-year-round production of a wide variety of both cash and food crops, livestock and forestry.

He said, “By its geographical location along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, and myriads of waterways, it has huge potentials for fish production to meet the domestic need and surplus for exports in a global fish market valued at $144.0 billion in 2014.

“In the solid minerals sub-sector, there are at least 44 known mineral assets notably gold, iron ore, bauxite, bitumen, lead, zinc, tin and coal, which have been identified for commercial exploration. Solid minerals contributed an estimated N400 billion to the economy in 2015.”

He said Nigeria’s creative industry driven by Nollywood, produces about 50 movies per week, second only to India’s Bollywood and ahead of Hollywood, and currently provides employment for over one million people.

This makes it Nigeria’s largest employer after agriculture. In 2013, the creative industry contributed 1.4 per cent to Gross Domestic Product and was rated the third most valuable film industry in the world, generating revenue of N1.72 trillion.

Emefiele said the task of returning the non-oil economy to its glory days is possible but would require the creative energies of all stakeholders, government at all levels, the private sector, the press and indeed, the citizenry.

Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Kayode Fayemi said Nigeria has remained a mono-product economy, with crude oil contributing 80 per cent to foreign exchange earnings. He said now is the right time to diversify the country’s economy base, adding that mining and agriculture are expected to drive solid minerals sector.

Fayemi said there is no law stopping state governments from being involved in the inning sector. “The state governments can develop Special Purpose Vehicles to drive the mining sector. Nigeria still remains a Greenfield in mining.”

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