Dr Mansur Muhtar, Vice- President, Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and Former Minister of Finance, says the greatest potential Nigeria needs to explore is its people and not oil.
Muhtar said this while unveiling of the Book “Pathways to Political and Economic Development of Africa” at the 7th Anniversary Lecture and Investiture into the Realnews Hall of Fame in Lagos.
The former minister spoke on “Beyond Oil: Whither the Nigeria Economy”.
He noted that with about 196 million people and projected at 401 million by 2050, Nigeria was the most populous country on the African continent, making it the largest after India and China.
“Nigeria has large numbers of young people, presenting opportunity for deepening human capital base for a sizable domestic and home market – growing size and strength of consumer class,” Muhtar said.
The former minister said “beyond figures, trends from the Economic Intelligence Unit database of November 2019 shows that Nigeria oil production was below potential and could be optimised by increasing investment.”
He said the government must also address security issue which had created supply disruption.
“Meanwhile, Nigeria is still a big player in the international market, largest oil producer in Africa, ranked 12th in the world, second largest amount of proved crude oil reserve in Africa, largest natural reserves on the continent,” Muhtar said.
The former minister, however, made case for economic diversification through broadening of sources of growth with greater domestic linkages.
He said this would shield the economy from price and output volatility, reduce vulnerabilities and allow sustainability of growth against natural resources depletion.
Muhtar said this would also enhance employment prospect by providing expanded and wider job opportunities, thereby facilitating a more geographically-balanced equitable growth.
The former minister noted that the advantageous geographical location of the country in West Africa was also its key asset that would facilitate its trade relations with neighbouring countries as well as easy access to European, North and South African markets.
Muhtar urged the government to create an enabling environment in human capital through investment in health, education, enhanced security, law and order.
“Leadership is not one person’s endeavour, a strong team that shares common ideals is needed; a critical mass of credible leaders and tough decision which demand end to business as usual,” he said .
Obi said the world was moving out of oil and Nigeria must follow suit and diversify and also invest in education.
“Oil has not serve Venezuela which has three times the oil reserve of Nigeria and it will not serve Nigeria or any other country either,” he said.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that other dignitaries at the event included Mr John Mahama, Former President of Ghana, Mrs Margaret Olele, Chief Executive Officer, American Business Council, Mr Alex Okoh, Director General, Bureau of Public Enterprise, Mr Dele Momodu, Publisher ,Ovation magazine, among others.
Edited by Abdullahi Mohammed/Wale Ojetimi
- Waste managers pledge to upgrade disposal trucks for better service
- Police nab man for allegedly killing neighbour with Dane gun in Niger
- Pope to give ‘strictly private’ audience to embattled Maltese premier
- Samoa’s measles death toll rises to 65 amid state of emergency
- Von der Leyen calls for ‘unity’ between Europe, AU
- Tree planting, panacea to climate change problems- Environmentalist
- Eddie Ugbomah, Joke Silva, others honoured with Movie Rock of Fame Award
- Firefighters battle more than 100 blazes across Australian state
- AOC tasks personnel on physical fitness to tackle security challenges
- Kenya gov’t confirms ambush that killed 8 was terrorist attack
- 2019 ZUMA Film Festival closes with grand awards gala
- $900,000 Grant: Niger Govt. to sensitise communities on urban policy
- Jigawa, Chinese Hunan province sign agreement on agriculture
- Missing cash: 4 quizzed NSCDC back to post at Bayelsa govt. house
- U.S. Supreme Court blocks plans to bring back federal death penalty
- MURIC hails Buhari for nomination of new NAHCON boss
- Immigration boss inaugurates new quarter guard
- Insecurity: Niger Govt. donates vehicles, motorcycles to Army
- Osinbajo harps on culture, tourism in new world order
- Customs boss seeks separate budget for staff college
- ICT bedrock of any sub specialty, says Kebbi first lady
- NIDCOM condemns attack on Amaechi in Spain
- Kubwa Traffic: FCTA task team to close Gwarinpa U-turn
- Ahead of institute’s convocation, alumni call for improved attention to tourism
- Gov. Sule sets up committee on implementation of minimum wage
- Onu advocates inclusion of innovation in educational curriculum
- Tunisia foils illegal immigration attempt
- FG reaffirms commitment to establishing National Policy on Nanotechnology
- FCCPC to enforce passenger insurance on fleet operators
- Gov. Obaseki signs N179.2bn Appropriation Bill for Edo
- Nigerian Customs not afraid to take bold decisions
- TETFund retrieves N10bn from non-performing institutions
- Budget: We’re poised to exercise our constitutional mandate–Zamfara Speaker
- Police deploy new CP to Adamawa for LG Election
- Buratai tasks officers on improvement on current successes
- Agency begins taxpayer engagement to enhance revenue collection – Chairman
- Boko Haram abducts 18 in Cameroon’s Far North region
- Emir seeks abolition of GRA in llorin
- Apapa 72 hours road closure: FG seeks understanding for construction works
- EFCC nabs 4 suspects over alleged fraudulent business in Sokoto, Kebbi states
- Gov. Sule, Al-Makura deny friction over alleged inherited debts
- 40 youths receive N7.5m grant from IITA, AfricaRice project
- Zambia says plans to re-launch national airline active
- NSE moves 197.04m shares worth N3.53bn in bearish trading
- Yuletide: FRSC warns drivers against overloading, speeding in Sokoto
- Kwara Customs Command takes anti-smuggling campaign to border communities
- FCT minister lauds sharia court for being responsive
- AOT Lagos 1.0: Tech entrepreneurs advise startups on business sustainability
- Mental wellbeing is an inalienable right of every Nigerian – NGO
- NAF trains 3,629 personnel to meet Nigeria’s dynamic security challenges