Former Central Bank Governor, Mohammed Sanusi (II), on Tuesday, September 22, explained that Nigeria has to emphasise economic diversification more seriously in order to experience growth and development.
Sanusi made this assertion during the second day of the Kaduna Investment Summit as a guest speaker.
The former Emir explained that over-reliance on oil has left the country unproductive.
In his analysis, Sanusi cited Malaysia’s growth as an example of the economic growth of both countries within a 30-year period.
According to him, for Nigeria “there was an increase in wealth but without any structural transformation”.
“We were growing but we did not diversify and that explains the huge levels of poverty in the country, it explains the huge levels of inequality in the country, it explains the vulnerability of the economy to shocks, it also explains the relatively slow pace of growth because when Malaysia started, they started from a GDP per capita level lower than Nigeria’s GDP per capita in 1985. It started from $310 to $4,045 while we started from $345 to $2,055”.
He also stressed the importance of the government creating the right environment and infrastructure for private businesses to thrive.
“One way to look at it is to understand the difference between production and consumption,” Sanusi said, adding that “electricity per capita is such a critical determinant for moving people out of poverty”.
He further stated that with the right mindset, Nigeria can become a producer of technology amongst the comity of nations.
Sanusi urged the youths also to not only rely on the government but to create opportunities for themselves, including exploring the endless possibilities of their smartphones.
“We need to think over and over again as to how we understand economics and what we see. How do we understand technology or electricity are we consumers or are we producers and that’s why investment in human capital is so important.
“Produce young men who know that they are worth more than just using their phone to import a pair of shoes,” he said.