Nigeria boasts a population of more than 200 million people who are religiously diverse and rapidly growing. The country houses the largest economy on the African continent. It depends heavily on oil production and oil exports, which comprise 80% of its national revenue. In 2015, the Nigerian economy grew at half the rate of the previous decade due to the global oil price recession. The government acknowledges the necessity of a comprehensive plan for sustainable economic growth in Nigeria.
Despite the Human Rights Watch’s claims of human rights abuses, fighting between the government and terrorist group, Boko Haram, as well corruption both within the government and the oil industry, Nigeria is a rapidly growing and dynamic nation. In 2015, a peaceful transfer of power from incumbent Goodluck Jonathan to Muhammadu Buhari took place after a competitive election. President Buhari is a former military head of state and has made vows to improve the living standards of Nigerians. Furthermore, he wants to fight corruption and boost the economy both through the oil industry and outside of it.
Diversifying and Boosting Nigeria’s Economy
A report put out by the International Finance Corporation and the World Bank found that private sector growth strategies could help Nigeria by attracting outside investment and creating more quality jobs for millions of its citizens. The report states that this strategy will require better policy frameworks and reforms to support sectors outside of the oil industry. Nigeria has pledged to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty by 2030, which is becoming increasingly challenging with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This report highlights a hopeful investment strategy that can help foster economic growth in Nigeria.
Nigeria experienced 11 straight quarters of GDP growth since its recession ended, but growth has stalled given the COVID-19 pandemic. President Buhari has set out to diversify the nation’s economic strategy and has focused on agriculture to achieve the poverty reduction goal. In addition to the agricultural industry, President Buhari has sought to revamp the cotton, tactile and garment industry. Furthermore, 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 and $153 million respectively. These examples serve to show the promise of diversifying and strengthening the Nigerian economy amid unstable times.
The Potential of Agriculture
President Buhari met with the Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC) and stated that his administration is committed to implementing “rapid, sustained, sustainable and inclusive economic growth.” President Buhari focused again on agriculture-based strategies and the utilization of more land throughout the country. Nigeria currently only irrigates about 2% of its land, indicating significant room for agricultural development. Buhari says that raising agricultural productivity is vital to address the disparities between regions and “ensure macro-economic stability.”
The PEAC has pledged to help Nigeria with an approach to eradicating poverty that will be multi-dimensional, focusing on aspects such as access to housing, health, education and employment. President Buhari vowed his commitment to reducing poverty in Nigeria but collaboration from all levels will ensure a comprehensive and effective national response.
– Tatiana Nelson