Experts and academic dons have showcased concerns about the low pace at which Nigeria is growing.
The experts and academic dons who gathered in Lagos for a book launch noted that Nigeria could have developed like other oil-producing countries such as Qatar.
Speaking at the event, the Vice Chancellor of Caleb University, Professor Nosa Owens-Ibie, stated that Nigeria has no excuse for its inadequacy and failure to catch up with its peers.
According to the don, against some perceptions, the discovery of oil in Nigeria was not a curse.
Making reference to the book written by Michael Ross “The Oil Curse”, the Vice Chancellor said: “Oil may have indeed been somewhat a curse in instances, but there are those who have shown that oil is a catalyst for productive multipliers”.
“Days from now, Qatar will be hosting the world in moments of frenzy. If oil is a curse, Qatar may not be hosting the best of world footballers”, he added.
The academic Don also makes reference to Dubai, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. He noted that due to the judicious use of oil revenue, Dubai has become a tourist destination for people across the world while properties in the middle Eastern country are sought after from far and wide.
He added that having discovered oil several years ago, Nigeria has no excuse to be poor.
Investors King understands that oil was discovered in Nigeria in 1956. The first discovery of oil in Nigeria was in Olobiri, a suburb in Bayelsa State.
Ever since then, hundreds of oil wells have been discovered across different states which include Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Imo, Anambra, Kogi and Port Harcourt among others.
For years, Nigeria was the largest oil producer in Africa and one of the largest in the world. The country is also the largest producer of gas in Africa and the 12th in the world.
However, despite the discovery of oil and its subsequent exploration, Nigerians barely see the benefit of it both in terms of human capital development and overall economic growth.
Nigeria’s Untapped Coffee Sector Holds the Key to $2 Billion Annual Revenue
Amidst declining foreign reserves and the need for alternative revenue streams, Nigeria’s overlooked coffee industry emerges as a potential powerhouse capable of contributing over $2 billion annually to foreign exchange earnings.
Industry experts emphasize the necessity for strategic investments and modernized farming practices to unlock the full economic potential of the coffee sector.
While Nigeria is not among the top 10 coffee producers in Africa, the country’s untapped coffee industry holds the promise of significant financial gains, job creation, and sustainable agricultural development.
The urgency for revitalization comes as Nigeria grapples with a decline in foreign reserves, dropping from $38.25 billion in September 2022 to $33.23 billion in the third quarter of 2023.
Salihu Imam, Chairman of the National Coffee and Tea Association of Nigeria, Oyo State, highlighted the global significance of coffee, stating, “Coffee is the second most traded/valuable of all commodities and first in Agricultural commodities in the world.”
The potential economic impact extends beyond immediate financial gains, with Nigeria positioning itself as a key player in the global coffee trade.
Despite its potential, Nigeria’s coffee exports remain modest, producing less than one million bags annually.
In contrast, Ethiopia, the largest coffee exporter in Africa, is projected to produce 8.25 million bags. Experts suggest that Nigeria, with its unique coffee varieties, could generate $2 billion annually.
Segun Lary-Lean, President of the West Africa Specialty Coffee Association, emphasized the robust global demand for coffee, comparing it to water in Western countries.
He noted the significant earnings of coffee-producing nations like Brazil, Colombia, Vietnam, and Kenya, which experienced a 17% increase in coffee earnings.
In a call to action, industry players urge the Federal Government to prioritize strategic investments, modernized farming practices, and value-added processing to harness the coffee sector’s full economic benefits.
Unlocking the potential of Nigeria’s coffee industry stands not only as a financial opportunity but as a catalyst for broader economic growth and diversification.
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