Abuja – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has urged Nigeria to exploit the opportunities in the agriculture, infrastructure and manufacturing sectors for sustainable growth.
UNDP’s Economic Advisor, Mr Ojijo Odhiambo, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday.
He praised the Federal Government for the efforts it is making to broaden the economic horizon from oil to agriculture and solid minerals.
“We need to look at agriculture not just as a way of providing food and nutrition but also a means of livelihood for a lot of people especially in the rural areas and link that to agro-based processing.
So, that more people can also be employed within the agriculture sector and link our production to the global and regional value chains.
“So, that we will benefit more instead of producing and exporting raw commodities, which has been the case for a lot of African countries.
“The other area that is critical is infrastructure; seek ye the infrastructure and every other thing shall follow.
“If we can have infrastructure especially that will allow producers to reach the markets, for example, that is very critical.
“Manufacturing is another sector because the growth through manufacturing has been demonstrated to be more sustainable, as opposed to growth through the service sector.’’
Odhiambo also applauded the government for the measures it had been putting in place in the last one year to revive the economy.
He advised the government to revive moribund industries as the manufacturing sector had the capacity to create long-lasting jobs and address poverty.
“The other area that is critical is the area of innovation and technology-based growth.
“If you look at countries like Singapore and South Korea, they are technology-based economies.
“Nigeria has the potential in terms of human resources. It is abundant and highly skilled and it is good that we harness it.
“It is good we harness the abundant human resource we have so that we can grow not only in primary industry but also in the secondary industry, which is manufacturing, and the tertiary industry, which deals with services,’’ the official said. (NAN)