Nigeria cannot afford to pay lip service to diversification, says UNIDO

Dr. Ezedinma Chuma, Officer in Charge of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Regional Office, Nigeria

OPS responds to incentives, says expert

The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) has stated that the Federal Government must show commitment to the diversification agenda by creating an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.

According to UNIDO, while government has a responsibility to operators, there is need for existing businesses to remodel their operations to drive the diversification agenda.

UNIDO representative, Reuben Bamidele, during an investment conference in Lagos, urged government to direct its investment towards areas that would promote the agenda.

Bamidele emphasised the imperative for Nigeria to aggressively pursue economic diversification, noting that the nation cannot afford to sustain its monolithic structure of the economy in view of present realities and the need to get out of recession.

He said, “The current state of the Nigerian economy requires massive injection of local and foreign investments to boost the level of economic activities in the country. Existing businesses need to be re-jigged while further investments are required to develop new enterprises. Thus, the business of local and foreign investment mobilisation need to be pursued with vigour.”

He said although previous administrations had attempted to promote investments in Nigeria, things had to be done differently this time.

He added, “First, we must not lose sight of the fact that investors are not particularly averse to any particular country or region. On the contrary, they move to where returns on investments are highest in their quest to maximise profits. Accordingly, the investment climate has to become friendlier to attract the needed investments. The good news is that the current administration is doing something in this regard and we are optimistic that it will work out fast and fine.”

According to Bamidele, although public-private partnership is needed in the development process, the public sector has to strengthen the private sector for the partnership to generate desired results.Also, Chief Consultant, Biodun Adedipe and Associates, Dr. Abiodun Adedipe, urged government to give attention to the agric value-chain, adding that agricultural practice should be treated as a business rather than how it is being addressed


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