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Nigeria needs urgent economic diversification – AfDB

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The AfDB said that the diversification of the Nigerian economy had become important for it to respond favourably to the emerging challenges of the 21st century.

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The African Development Bank has stated that Nigeria (AfDB), Africa’s largest economy, needs urgent economic diversification to move the country from a single income source (oil and minerals) towards multiple income sources.

This was disclosed by Prof. Oyelaran-Oyeyinka Oyebanji, Senior Special Adviser on Industrialisation at African Development Bank (AfDB), at the 22nd Founder’s Day Lecture of the Igbinedion University, the first private university in Edo state, on Monday.

What the AfDB said about diversification

“In pursuit of long-term recovery and sustainable development, Nigeria needs urgent economic diversification. Nothing is more poignantly demonstrative of the danger of over-reliance on a single or narrow range of commodities than the recent crash in oil price we saw in 2020 due to the COVID-19.

Economic diversification entails a shift away from a single income source (oil and minerals) toward multiple income sources from an increasing spectrum of sectors, products and markets,” he said.

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) stated earlier this year that economic diversification was important to Nigeria and critical for her economic recovery.

They said the limited gains from inward-oriented policies in terms of creating jobs and improving living standards suggested that Nigeria needed to have a change of strategy. It was pointed out that in order to accommodate a growing number of young people entering the labour market, Nigeria would need to create at least 5 million new jobs each year over the next decade.

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