Nige­ria moves to stop de­pen­dency on crude oil ex­ports: pres­i­dent


Nige­ria is mov­ing to rapidly di­ver­sify the coun­try’s econ­omy to stop its de­pen­dency on crude oil ex­ports, Nige­rian Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari said Thurs­day.

Nige­ria has de­pended on oil as its ma­jor source of rev­enue in the last three decades at the ex­pense of agri­cul­ture and other sec­tors, Buhari said. He spoke as he re­ceived new am­bas­sadors.

Buhari, who took power in late May, in­her­ited near-empty cof­fers, tens of thou­sands of un­paid civil ser­vants and an econ­omy bat­tered by a sharp drop in oil prices. Africa’s largest econ­omy and oil pro­ducer has also been plagued by wide­spread cor­rup­tion, es­pe­cially in the oil sec­tor. In July, a gov­ern­ment body re­vealed more than US$20 bil­lion in oil rev­enue to be miss­ing.

De­spite the chal­lenges, Nige­ria is still at­tract­ing in­vest­ment due to the scale of the mar­ket, ac­cord­ing to an­a­lysts. South African su­per­mar­ket gi­ant Shoprite an­nounced last week that it will open 14 new stores in ad­di­tion to the ex­ist­ing 12 in Nige­ria.

“Nige­ria isn’t a par­tic­u­larly ap­peal­ing mar­ket. It’s a very dif­fi­cult place to do busi­ness, growth is stalling, and the re­tail sec­tor is much less well-de­vel­oped than other mar­kets, like Kenya,” said John Ash­bourne, the Africa ex­pert in Cap­i­tal Eco­nom­ics, a lead­ing macro-eco­nomic re­search firm. “But the po­ten­tial for growth is ab­so­lutely jaw-drop­ping if you man­age to get in, as they say, on the ground floor of a coun­try that could have 500 mil­lion peo­ple within a few decades.”

Ash­bourne said ex­pan­sion of the econ­omy of just La­gos, the coun­try’s com­mer­cial cap­i­tal, is al­most as big as An­gola’s.

“If in­de­pen­dent, (La­gos) would be Sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa’s fourth largest econ­omy, af­ter the rest of Nige­ria, South Africa, and An­gola,” he said.


Mil­i­tants lob fire­works to­ward an ar­mored po­lice ve­hi­cle dur­ing clashes with Turk­ish po­lice in the Gazi dis­trict in Is­tan­bul on Thurs­day, Aug. 27. Five peo­ple, in­clud­ing two chil­dren and a soldier, were killed in clashes be­tween Kur­dish mil­i­tants and se­cu­rity forces in Tur­key’s restive Kur­dish-ma­jor­ity south­east on Thurs­day, lo­cal of­fi­cials and the army said.

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