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Stakeholders seek changes in African narrative, resource exploitation

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For sustainable growth and development, Nigeria and other African governments must design and implement economic policies tailored towards revitalizing their economies for optimal resource exploitation, stakeholders have said.

Speaking during a summit of economists and business leaders in Nigeria, the stakeholders advocated improved policy implementation that will raise the standard of living of citizens and also improve image of the continent in the global economy.

The organizers of the event, The African Economy Magazine said the theme of the summit; “Towards a sustainable economic growth and development in Nigeria” is apt and critical to changing the narrative of the African economy that has been painted negatively to the rest of the world.

According to the Publisher, The African Economy Magazine, Dr. Yusuf Shopeyin, “So far, the African narrative has been a negative one, so we are set out to reporting the positive economic stories of Nigeria and Africa in general to send a positive signal to the entire world. Africa is not poor, but rich and over the years, Africa has always been painted as a poor nation.

“The continent has about 60 per cent of the world’s most valuable reserves deposited in Africa. We are being deprived by the west over the years and Africa is growing irrespective of the negative media. We are out here to say there is much more beyond what they see.”

Shopeyin said African leaders must come together to influence the positive perception of continent to showcase the continent to the world, pointing out that the African summit slated to hold in September, 2017 in South Africa, will discuss the picture of the African Union (AU) in terms of implementation and sustainability of policies to take Africa to the next level.

“We have seen major African countries recently witnessing over 7 per cent sustained growth on annual basis. This is very positive and Africa has an arable land of about 65 per cent that can be cultivated and these are of the positive stories about Africa. Lagos State is a very good example, because it is a State in 1999 with an Internal Generated Revenue (IGR) of less than N1 billion, but in a period of one year with good administration, it increased to N25 billion which I find remarkable and I think the world deserves to hear that,” he added.

Also, a Professor of Economics, University of Lagos, Prof. Ndubuisi Nwokoma, explained that going forward, Nigeria must seek ways to manage the demand for foreign goods by substituting foreign goods with what Nigeria has the comparative and competitive advantage to produce, saying that this would help in conserving the nation’s hard earned foreign exchange.

He also called on the federal government to make the value chain in agriculture more attractive and profitable to get youths taking active part in the sector, maintaining that the youths have very critical role to play in agricultural development.

“The federal government must as a matter of urgency find out as many that are interested whether young or old, provide access to finance, strengthen the sector with all the infrastructure, marketing and extension service.



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