Nigeria’s oil-dependent economy not sustainable, experts warn

Ife Ogunfuwa

Experts have raised concern over the dependence of  the country on oil proceeds despite the potential of other sectors of the economy.

They pointed out that the Nigerian human capital was the greatest asset as seen in the value Nigerians in the Diaspora had brought to the economy over the years.

Speaking at the New Members Induction of the Institute of Directors in Lagos, the Chief Economist, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Dr Andrew Nevin, said  research had shown that the biggest contributor to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product in 2018 was not the oil sector but remittances from Nigerians in the Diaspora.

According to him, the Diaspora community sent about $25bn into the country in 2018, representing 6.1 per cent of GDP, and 83 per cent of the Federal Government budget last year.

He pointed out the Nigerians in the Diaspora were the highest foreign exchange earner for the country, saying there was no future in the country with regards to the oil economy.

“Nigeria’s biggest export is not oil; it is actually people, because of the remittances coming in,” he said.

He stressed the importance of good corporate governance and the adoption of technology by the private sector in order to attract investors.

He added, “The private sector needs to be much bigger. It means we need strong governance in the private sector because it won’t succeed. People will not invest in companies unless governance is good. In today’s world, technology is so critical. companies’ directors need to take interests in these new technologies and understand its impact on the company and what that means for governance. They need to hold management accountable and be able to react to opportunities in technology.”

Commenting on insufficient talents in the country, the Executive Director, Xpos Technologies, Mr Adeoye Abodunrin, also added that the massive migration of talented Nigerians out of the country had impacted on the performance of different sectors of the economy, especially the public sector.

He said, “We are still an economy that relies on a lot of foreign human capital. When you call for an interview, starting from the low-level positions and the topmost positions, you have deficiencies in local human capital. You don’t have too many people who have the knowledge, expertise, experience, skills, ability and understanding of the techniques that make a business successful.

“As an economy, we don’t have enough of it. Our educational system is in comatose; in offices, the handing over of skills set is poor. People are more concerned about survival. The brain drain is happening because of the Canadian migration programme, people are leaving the country in droves because talents will always move from a region of lower appreciation to a region of higher appreciation.”

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