SAT, 24 OCT, 2020-theGBJournal-A new report from IFC and the World Bank focused on the health of Nigeria’s economy finds that a broader private sector-led growth strategy could help Nigeria realize its immense potential by attracting more investment and creating millions of quality jobs for its growing population.
The report, the Nigeria Country Private Sector Diagnostic (CPSD), calls for placing greater emphasis on addressing infrastructure deficiencies and investment policies and identifies agribusiness, manufacturing, and digital entrepreneurship, among others, as high potential sectors that can speed economic growth and job creation in Africa’s largest economy.
Launched as Nigeria works to recover from the impacts of COVID-19, the report examines how Nigeria’s vibrant private sector, dominated by smaller businesses, will require improved policy frameworks and reforms to support sectors beyond oil, which contributes nearly 90 percent of the country’s export earnings.
The report also highlights how potential investors and Nigeria’s private enterprises can best benefit from the country’s extensive agricultural and mineral resources, its young and entrepreneurial labor force, and its strategic position in Africa with market access to other member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Eme Essien Lore, IFC Country Manager for Nigeria, said, “Nigeria’s private sector is among the largest in Africa and plays a critical role providing goods, services, and quality jobs to the country’s growing population. Addressing the challenges holding back Nigeria’s private sector—challenges deepened by the COVID-19 pandemic—will be critical to the country’s goal of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty by 2030. Through the CPSD, IFC, and the World Bank have identified policy actions and interventions that can help unlock investment and jobs.”
According to the report, targeted investments in agribusiness could directly benefit Nigeria’s poorest households and help improve food security. Reforms in manufacturing could support and facilitate investments in the sector, boosting quality local production and exports. The benefits to Nigeria of fully harnessing the digital economy are significant and would likely accelerate the pace and inclusiveness of economic activity in the country.
Shubham Chaudhuri, World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, said, “Nigeria’s Private Sector Diagnostic provides a road map to support the government in undertaking reforms that will help increase private sector investment and diversify the country’s oil-dependent economy.”
IFC and the World Bank have also published a COVID-19 Rapid Assessment alongside the Nigeria CPSD. The rapid assessment provides insights for stakeholders on accelerating Nigeria’s recovery from the impact of the pandemic.