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FG urged to exploit wellness industry

By Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze, Abuja
25 December 2019   |   4:02 am
The Federal Government has been urged to refocus its investment plans to tap into the global wellness industry, which currently stands at over $4.2 trillion.

The Federal Government has been urged to refocus its investment plans to tap into the global wellness industry, which currently stands at over $4.2 trillion.

The Chief Executive Officer, Infinite Wealth and Founder African Wellness Summit, Hauwa Huru Alkashim, who made the call at a wellness summit held in Abuja, said Nigeria stands to gain billions of dollars if she harnesses the opportunities in the wellness sector, while urging the government to open facilities where small businesses can go to process their products.

She lamented that despite the fact that Nigeria’s cashew nuts are rated among the best five in the world, the nuts are not processed in the country, but are exported raw to other countries.

“60 to 70 per cent of the tiger nuts sold in Nigeria are not cultivated in Nigeria, they come from Niger republic. Meanwhile, they can be cultivated in places like Bauchi, Borno, but no one is interested in investing in that market. If you look at the number of businesses that utilise tiger nuts and its health benefits, I would have expected that the government would have looked into expanding that sector,” she stated.

According to her, if Nigeria begins to process raw products like sesame seed, cashew nuts, hibiscus and others into finished products; it can make its mark in the global wellness industry.

She said, ‘’Presently, the global wellness industry is worth $4.2 trillion and Africa has not been captured completely. The only part in which Africa has been captured is that of tourism and the countries captured are South Africa..
and Kenya. What about Nigeria? Nobody is talking about Nigeria. If they do not have the figure for Africa it means that global wellness economics is worth more than $4,2 trillion, This is because no one is interested or talking about it’’.

Alkashim observed that the only sub-sector in the wellness industry that has been spoken and written about in Nigeria is the beauty sector, as other sectors remain unattended to.

“We are talking about nine sub-sectors of the wellness industry. Where is Nigeria in it? It is a question that we are still looking for answers to,” she said.

She noted that if Nigeria would make accurate decisions to invest in the right sub-sectors of the wellness industry, then it can generate billions of dollars in revenue for the country and its citizens.