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CBN deputy governor advises varsities, others on research

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Dr Joseph Nnanna, a Deputy Governor at the Central Bank of Nigeria

The issues around research and development were renewed last weekend, when the Deputy Governor, Economic Policy Directorate, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr. Okwu Joseph Nnanna, challenged universities and research institutes in the country to find solutions to challenges confronting the nation’s agricultural sector. 

Nnanna gave the charge in Uturu, Abia State, on Friday, while delivering the 26th Pre-Convocation Lecture of Abia State University, entitled: “Diversification of the Nigerian Economy Through the Agricultural Sector”.

While acknowledging that much had been done by various institutions to develop improved agricultural technologies, he noted that a lot more research still needed to be done in developing innovative ways, and adopting technologies to combat issues of pests and diseases.

The banker also noted the crucial role played by the private sector in economic diversification through access to affordable credit facilities and other opportunities that support innovation and exploitation of untapped resources. 

However, he regretted that Nigeria still lacked the human capacity with entrepreneurial and innovative skills to drive the economy to the height of industrialised economies.

According to him, universities remained knowledge and innovation hubs where fresh ideas could be developed and used in industry for economic transformation.

He added that research and development were invaluable in the transformation of agricultural systems, increasing productivity and driving innovation in economies across the globe. 

Rationalising the need to diversify the Nigerian economy away from crude oil, he said the country’s vulnerability to the oil sector did not augur well for the long-term economic stability and development of the country.

He, therefore, emphasised the need for all stakeholders, including the government, private sector, organised labour and research and academic institutions to actively participate in the process of diversifying the economy. 

He cited inadequate requisite infrastructure, poor storage and processing facilities, low public-private-partnership and underdeveloped value chain as some of the challenges of the nation’s economic diversification. 

On the part of the CBN, he said the bank would continue to implement both conventional and non-conventional policies to sustain macroeconomic stability in the country. 

He noted that policies of the bank had been yielding positive results, as indicated by the improvements in domestic production of 42 items restricted from the Nigerian foreign exchange market, as non-oil export has actually increased. 

Nnanna, therefore, urged tertiary institutions in the country to focus on innovative and entrepreneurial researches to facilitate a broad-based diversification of the Nigerian economy through agriculture.


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