ACCESS            An effectively diversified Nigerian economy will hit $6.4 trillion in gross domestic product (GDP) in 2050. It will also place Nigeria ahead of Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Saudi Arabia. This was the verdict of the latest economic report from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on the Nigerian economy.

The report, entitled: “Nigeria: Looking Beyond Oil”, states that Nigeria could achieve full potential in the non-oil sector by improving investments across the downstream oil and gas sector to increase its local production of petrochemicals, fertilizers, methanol and industrial raw materials that are relevant in industrial and consumer products manufacturing. Nigeria currently meets its need of these products through importation.

“The potential for a resurgent non-oil sector clearly exists. According to our long-term projections, Nigeria could grow at five to six per cent yearly on average in the long-term assuming broadly growth friendly policies are being pursued. Based on an input-output analysis multiplier model across 26 sectors, we identify Agriculture, Petroleum, Retail and ICT as the sectors with the strongest inter-industry linkages, both backward and forward”, the report states.
It envisions that the country’s global agriculture could hit $59 billion in export revenues by 2030, while value added to oil and gas output needs to urgently improve by implementing diversification within the sector.
However, the shift from oil to non-oil economy could be constrained by harsh business environment that is currently characterized by corruption, inadequate infrastructure, low skill levels and macroeconomic uncertainty.
In 2015 and 2016, Nigeria was ranked 170 and 169 respectively in the Ease of Doing Business ranking out of 189 economies surveyed. Interestingly, Rwanda jumped through the rankings from being 143rd in 2009 to 62nd in 2016. Over that same period, Nigeria’s ranking worsened as it moved from 102nd to 169th. This shows that the economic and regulatory environment needs to be more conducive for business by simplifying complex regulation and processes, and eliminating the hurdles that stand in the way of a bigger and more productive private sector.

By Dike Onwuamaeze

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