Mr Olusegun Awolowo, Executive Director, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), says Nigeria can benefit from African Development Bank’s (AfDB) prediction of economic growth if it invests in agricultural production and processing.
Awolowo made the statement in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to him, the AfDB’s prediction is not surprising, given that most African nations, including Nigeria, have renewed efforts in the production of agricultural commodities.
NAN reports that in its 2017 annual report, the bank painted a bright picture for Africa, predicting an economic growth of 3.4 per cent within the year and 4.3 per cent in 2018, after the slowdown of 2016.
The projection is based on the assumption that as commodity prices recover, the world economy will be strengthened and domestic macroeconomic reforms are entrenched.
The bank attributed the negative growth of the past year to lower commodity prices.
The executive director also added that making the prediction a deliberate economic pursuit by Nigeria became more compelling due to the recent global economic recession, arising from fall in oil price.
“The country needs to invest in infrastructure and provide institutional support to relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies to drive the process.
“Interestingly, all these have been captured in the ‘Council’s Zero Oil Plan’ document.
“The plan envisaged a scenario where there is no crude oil export in Nigeria.
“The plan shows that the country, with the right investment and policy implementation, can easily replace the receipts from crude oil with revenue from non-oil, especially from agricultural exports and solid minerals,’’ Awolowo said.