• Monday, June 24, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Why Nigeria should not be poor – Adesina

C42491DE-B2D6-4EFE-8B8C-5E8A54CCA19F

A prosperous future can also be supported by a robust private sector to unlock wealth but for Nigeria, time is not on her side to achieve this.

This was said by Akinwunmi Adesina, president, of the African Development Bank Group at the CEO forum hosted by Businessday on the 13th of June 2023, at Eko Hotel.

“Nigeria should never be a poor country and Nigerians being poor, Nigeria should shift from managing poverty to managing wealth,” Adesina said.

Picking excerpts from the Lion King movie, Adesina noted that Simba was destined to rule and restore the country, a movie that made over 45 billion dollars, making it the most animated movie made.

According to Adesina, Nigeria, like the great Simba was promised to be great until it becomes the Lion King, Nigeria can be the Lion King in Africa given it applies the right policies.

“Nigeria is developing too slowly and well below its potential, like Simba, it must learn to roar using industrialization which must be deliberate and intentional,” Adesina said.

Manufacturing GDP has been hovering over 7 percent for the past decade and the past 5 years have been poor, which is in sharp contrast to the Asian economy. While Asian countries focus on manufacturing products, Nigeria has focused on export substitution

“Instead of looking forward-looking, Nigeria focuses on an unstainable method of export substitution,” Adesina said.

In terms of comparative advantage, an export orientation will spur privatization to drive export and generally boost the economy.

Vietnam’s export in 2020 was a whopping 380 billion, according to FT Vietnam’s export growth pulled millions out of poverty.

Nigeria’s export in 2020 was more of mineral oil which accounted for 89 percent, 33.5 billion dollars which is one-tenth of the export value of the economy.

Nigeria remains in survival mode still unable to substitute its export product still being the largest producer of oil in the African market but there is a gap between policy gap and utilization.

“The abnormal has become normal,” Adesina said.