The African Development Bank (AfDB) says Nigeria is making progress in rice production and processing.
Mr Ebrima FAAL, Senior Country Director of the bank, stated this in an interview, while suggesting measures to be taken for quick economic recovery.
FAAL said this achievement should be scaled up and broadened to other sectors and commodities.
He said that leveraging on Nigeria’s agricultural potential to stimulate agro-led industrialization could rejuvenate the economy and improve rural incomes:
“Economic diversification remains key to Nigeria’s inclusive growth and the productive structure of the economy is generally more diversified now than say, 20 to 30 years ago.”
FAAL, however, noted that the production had shifted from oil to agriculture and manufacturing to services, mainly wholesale and retail trade, transport, real estate, among others.
According to him, the problem is that most services are in the informal sector:
“Some estimates suggest that the informal sector accounts for about 60 to 70 percent of the economy.
“Services sector can contribute to jobs creation but there is need for measures to improve productivity, especially through ICT enabled financial and other technology driven services.”
The director said that growing non-oil revenues would insulate the economy from the cyclicality of oil revenues and create stability in government budget.