Analysts Urge Entrepreneurs to Embrace Innovation

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Dike Onwuamaeze

Experts that spoke at the ongoing webinar series organised by Rand Merchant Bank Nigeria have stressed the need for business operators to embrace value addition in the agriculture and mineral resources sectors so as to promote the export of finished products.

They theme of the second edition of the conference was titled: ‘Turbo-charging Beneficiation and Value-addition.’

The Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of RMB Nigeria, and Regional Head of West Africa, Michael Larbie said, “Beneficiation could transform Nigeria’s competitive advantage, increase economic growth, industrialisation and create jobs in the country.

“We need to embrace value addition as a nation in agriculture and mineral resources to promote the export of finished products and simultaneously reduce imports.”

The session was moderated by the Head of Coverage, RMB Nigeria, Ngover Ihyembe-Nwankwo.

According to her, as countries begin the gradual removal of restrictions to jump-start economic activity, there was the widespread recognition that the pandemic would cause nations to reassess the status quo where comparative advantage forms the basis of international trade and move towards self-reliance and sustained surplus trade balances.

The CEO, Agusto & Co, Mrs. Yinka Adelekan, in her presentation, noted that although the Nigerian economy is moderately diversified across various sectors, there was need to significantly improve Nigeria’s fiscal position particularly in the areas of export earnings, beneficiation and value addition across key sectors, including agriculture and mining. Nigeria has several opportunities to refine raw products, she said, adding that value to local producers, communities and the economy.

Also speaking at the conference, the MD/CEO, Bank of Industry, Mr. Olukayode Pitan, said Nigerian businesses needed to make the most of Nigeria’s internal resources, as opposed to exporting them as raw materials.

He affirmed that the BOI, in addition to providing single-digit and long tenured facilities, was also committed to advocating for policies that support Nigeria’s industrialization and to create easier access to infrastructure for businesses, create jobs and promote inclusive growth.