By Nkiruka Nnorom
THE International Finance Corporation, IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has said that Nigeria could attract the much needed Foreign Direct Investment, FDI, into the country and create millions of jobs with adoption of a broader private sector-led growth strategy.
IFC stated this in a report titled “the Nigeria Country Private Sector Diagnostic (CPSD)”, jointly launched with the World Bank.
The IFC through the report, emphasised the need for the country to place greater emphasis on addressing infrastructure deficiencies and investment policies and identified agribusiness, manufacturing, and digital entrepreneurship, among others, as high potential sectors that could speed economic growth and job creation in Nigeria.
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It stated that Nigeria’s vibrant private sector, dominated by smaller businesses, would require improved policy frameworks and reforms to support sectors beyond oil, which contributes nearly 90 percent of the country’s export earnings.
According to the report, potential investors and Nigeria’s private enterprises could benefit from the country’s extensive agricultural and mineral resources, its young and entrepreneurial labour force, and the country’s strategic position in Africa with market access to other member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Speaking at the virtual launch of the report, 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, while reforms in manufacturing could support and facilitate investments in the sector, boosting quality local production and exports.