Mustapha preaches economic diversification

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The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha has advocated strong commitment to economic diversification by all strata of government.

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Such strategy is desirable by creating an enabling environment for promoting local self-reliance in many sectors other than oil and gas

Mustapha, while declaring open the 11th Nigeria International Trade Fair/Expo with the theme: “Diversification as Catalyst to our National Development’’, in Abuja, canvassed that Nigeria ought to move away from mono-economy and pay more attention should be be paid to heterogeneous economy.

He was represented by Mr Okokon Etoabasi, Acting Director, Public Affairs and Bilateral Department, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

“It is a known fact across the globe that for a country to attain growth and development, its economy has to be diversified.

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“Diversification does not occur in a vacuum. Mono-economy needs to give way to the productive development of various sectors of the economy,’’ Mustapha argued in his message delivered by Mr Okokon Etoabasi, Acting Director, Public Affairs and Bilateral Department, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

He also emphasised that Nigerians must look inwards and be proud of what they produce.

“Over the years, dependence on oil has made us a mono economy, hence making us a consuming economy rather than a productive economy.

“For us to develop economically, we must embrace diversification of our products,’’ he said.

The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige hailed Nigerians for their ingenuity, even as he noted that indigenous manufacturing is critical in boosting the country’s economy.

Represented by Mrs Tilda Mmegwa, the Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation, Ngige reiterated Federal Government’s commitment to ensuring an enabling environment for improved creativity.

He noted that local self- reliance is essential if the country must boost export and foreign reserves and  generate employment.

While identifying the trade fair as a splendid avenue that showcased the ingenuity of Nigerians, Ngige noted that more could be achieved with the right incentives.

The organiser, Ambassador Israel Edward, Chairman Paradise Productions Limited, said that the event was designed to showcase non-oil products, organic and natural products, foods, indigenous arts, cultural heritage, agricultural and agro-allied industries.

Edward said that Nigeria must increase productivity to improve the value of its currency while expressing concern that dependence on oil has distracted Nigerians from exploring other avenues to grow the economy.

“We need to go back to when we had rice pyramids and cocoa houses, whereby agriculture was our main stay,’’ Edward said.

Small business specialist, Alhaji Ibrahim Mohammed urged the Federal Government to ensure that the right infrastructure was in place to promote the activities of local manufacturers.

He said that adequate infrastructure such as electricity and production machines are crucial to boosting the activities of Small and Medium Enterprises.

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