The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, has urged the government at all levels to create an enabling environment that will promote diversification of the economy.
Mustapha said this on Tuesday in Abuja while declaring open the 11th Nigeria International Trade Fair/Expo with the theme: “Diversification as Catalyst to our National Development’’.
Represented by Mr Okokon Etoabasi, Acting Director, Public Affairs and Bilateral Department, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mustapha emphasised the need to de-emphasise the mono-economy system.
He said that more attention should be paid to the heterogeneous economy.
“It is a known fact across the globe that for a country to attain growth and development, its economy has to be diversified.
“Diversification does not occur in a vacuum. Mono-economy needs to give way to the productive development of various sectors of the economy,’’ he said.
Mustapha emphasised that Nigerians must look inwards and be proud of what they produce.
According to him, the event provides a synergy between the Federal Government and the private sector in diversifying the economy.
“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.
Also speaking, the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige, hailed Nigerians for their ingenuity
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 indigenous manufacturing remained the foundation for the industrial revolution, critical in boosting the country’s economy.
According to him, this is essential considering the role it plays in boosting export and foreign reserves and in creating 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, and agricultural and agro-allied industries.
Edward said that Nigeria must increase productivity to improve the value of the Naira.
He expressed concern that dependence on oil 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 mainstay,’’ Edward said.
Similarly, 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 the availability of infrastructures such as electricity and production machines was crucial in boosting the activities of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).