A former Minister of Finance, Mr Olusegun Aganga, has said despite the talk of economic diversification over the decades, Nigeria has not been able to diversify its economy due to a combination of factors.
Aganga said the country needed a much bigger economy “that is diversified in terms of domestic revenue generation and export earnings.”
He said such an economy would be better equipped to withstand internal and external shocks and compete in the global arena.
“The key message here is that being a resource-rich country does not make you a rich nation, but it is what you do with the resources that makes you rich, very rich or remain poor,” he said at an EY Alumni webinar on Thursday evening.
In his presentation, a copy of which was obtained by our correspondent on Friday, Aganga said economic diversification had eluded Nigeria because of lack of continuity in policies, plans and commitment to economic diversification and quality of governance.
Other critical factors, according to him, are poor implementation, breakdown of national values system and lack of adequate investment and development of the people.
The former Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment said, “We are a blessed nation. Nigeria is a country with so much promise, blessed with abundant human and natural resources.
“A country with about 84 million hectares of land, where almost everything can be grown; a nation with more than 44 solid minerals in commercial quantity, a top 10 oil and gas producer in the world, has demography that is the envy of the world and more.
“The fundamentals are strong. We have everything to become a great nation and to have a strong and well-diversified economy. The time to take that bold step and put Nigeria on the path of economic diversification is now. But we cannot leave it to the government alone.”