Deregulation or Diversification? The Panacea to Nigeria’s Economic Woes (Part 2)

In the previous part which is a prequel to this second part, it has been made known that this second part, which is the concluding part, will be largely discussing diversification, as a tool to ending Nigeria’s economic problems. As earlier described, diversification is a way to shift an economy from a lone income source to multiple varied income sources, agriculture as a major source of generating income readily comes to mind. Civilization began with agriculture, and though humanity has changed significantly, agriculture remains very salient. 

In some nations, its significance is more obvious, but the reality is that every country in the world someway depends on agriculture for one thing or another. Many raw materials, whether it is cocoa, cotton, groundnut, sugar, wood, or palm oil, come from agriculture. These materials are of great import to major industries in ways many people are not even conscious of, such as the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, diesel fuel, plastic, tissue paper, and more. In fact, raw materials are so important in production that the economic health of a country strongly depends on how many raw materials it possesses, that it has to import some it does not have.

In tune with the foregoing, there is a need to diversify Nigeria’s economy, of which agriculture is one major business area to explore considering the level of development once experienced in times past. Taking as a case study, the then Western region of Nigeria wherein there were several feats and achievements most of which still exist till date and still looking marvellous in our eyes owed to proceeds from agricultural produce like cocoa, rubber, timber and the like. The first-ever skyscraper in West Africa, Cocoa house, situated in Ibadan, Nigeria was built from cocoa proceeds.

Moreover, diversification into agriculture will automatically solve some other problems aside from directly affecting the economy. The problem of unemployment will be taken care of in a process whereby there is a government-facilitated inducement for farmers and encouragement for a countless number of able-bodied jobless youths to go into farming. Whether it is working as a farmer, harvester, technician for farm equipment, scientist, and so on, there are plenty of jobs available in this field. In developing countries, agricultural jobs help reduce high rates of unemployment. When it comes to reducing poverty, evidence shows that focusing on agriculture is significantly more effective than investing in other areas.

Food insecurity will be tackled and could be kept at bay when farm production increases. Arguably the most important aspect of agriculture is that it’s the source of the world’s food supply. No matter where or what you are eating, the ingredients in your meals came from somewhere. All roads lead to agriculture. In countries dealing with food insecurity and severe malnourishment, it’s because their agriculture sectors are suffering. When agriculture thrives, fewer people go hungry.

Also, Nigeria is a country blessed with huge deposits of several different natural, mineral resources found in the earth crust apart from crude oil. There is a fairly long list of mineral resources found in Nigeria, some of which are, namely; Bitumen, Coal, Oil and gas, Gold, Iron ore, Lead, Salt, Tin. That if properly tapped into, all these resources will be huge sources of income and economy-boosting for the country.

Yusuff Ibrahim

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