President Muhammadu Buhari’s government has committed more resources to the diversification of the economy, with a focus on the development of agriculture, solid minerals, science and technology, manufacturing and ICT sectors, than any previous administration.
Consequently, the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO), Pro. Pat Utomi’s opinion that the present administration has done very little to diversify Nigeria’s economy is not a true reflection of the realities on ground.
BMO made the assertions in a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, adding that President Buhari had promised that his administration would enact new policies to diversify the country’s economy from oil to other sectors such as agriculture, mining and manufacturing.
“He is fulfilling this promise by embarking on unprecedented economic policies that help diversify our economy, and create jobs and prosperity, especially for our young people.
“The diversification of the economy under Buhari is in line with the implementation of his Economic Recovery and Growth Programme (ERGP) to drive industrialization, with emphasis on small and medium scale enterprises to increase non-oil exports.
“Buhari knew ahead of time that it would be suicidal to entirely rely on revenue from oil for funds to drive the developmental programs of government and toe the path of economic diversification with a focus on the development of agriculture, solid minerals, science and technology, manufacturing industries and ICT sectors,” it said.
BMO said it believes that this economic diversification is yielding great dividends. “This is because the oil sector now contributes roughly 10 per cent to the economy while the non-oil sector contributes about 90 per cent.
“In 2021, the oil sector contributed 7.24 per cent to the economy while the non-oil sector contributed 92.76 per cent.
“In the non-oil sector, Nigeria’s agricultural sector remains the largest sector in the economy, contributing 25.9 per cent to the real GDP, with an estimated value of N18.74 trillion in 2021. The sector grew by 2.1 per cent year-on-year from N18.35 trillion recorded in the previous year.
“The Information and Communication (ICT) sector contributed 15.5% to the aggregate real GDP with a value of N11.23 trillion in 2021, which represents a 6.55% expansion compared to N10.54 trillion recorded in the previous year.
“The manufacturing sector contributed 9 per cent to the country’s real GDP with a value of N6.5 trillion, increasing by 3.35 per cent year-on-year from N6.29 trillion recorded in the previous year”.
According to the group, Nigeria’s trade sector expanded in the review year by 8.62 per cent year-on-year in real terms in 2021, contributing 15.7 per cent to the nation’s economy with a value of N11.36 trillion.
“More so, the nation has focused its efforts on increasing non-oil exports such as cocoa and sesame seeds. Revenue from these exports grew by 79.4 million dollars and 153 million dollars respectively.
“Operations at the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) have also improved significantly. For instance, the agency generated revenue of N4.2 trillion between January and September 2021.
“A large chunk of this increase came from financial technology (fintech) as the need for cashless payments, mobile transactions and easy loans exploded during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nigeria attracted over 134 million dollars in fintech venture capital in 2020, capturing more fintech funding than anywhere else in Africa.
“Generally what is apparent in this is that Buhari is on top of the economic direction and management, he understands the best policies to deploy and it is the impact of those policies that is being reflected in our economy,” the group said.