Experts have called on the Federal Government to embrace value addition in the agriculture and mineral resources sectors, to promote the export of finished products from the country and simultaneously reduce imports.
Speaking during the second Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) Nigeria’s, virtual Economic and Business Conference, themed, “Turbo-charging Beneficiation and Value Addition, the Chief Executive Officer, RMB Nigeria, and Regional Head of West Africa, Michael Larbie, said beneficiation could transform Nigeria’s competitive advantage, increase economic growth, industrialization, and create jobs.
He said the webinar was geared towards helping Nigerian firms adapt to the ever-changing climate, and remain responsive in the face of the current economic challenges, as the pandemic has impacted businesses negatively.
However, he said to achieve this, there were needs for skills, infrastructure, and access to finance, which absence are impediments to businesses thereby leading to inflation, high-interest rates on borrowings for capital projects, and some inconsistencies in policies.
He affirmed that aside providing single digit and long-tenured facilities, BOI is also committed to advocating policies that support Nigeria’s industrialization to create easier access to infrastructure for businesses, jobs, and promote inclusive growth.
On his part, the Chief Finance Officer, Waltersmith, Alex Osho, said there was a mismatch between the revenue from crude oil exports and the cost of importation of refined products and attendant pressure on the Naira.
He maintained that there have been leakages in the import and export supply chain over time, saying: “By refining locally and creating import substitution to support the regional market, Nigerian businesses can create a means of insulating themselves against the ups and downs of the global market.”
He added that it was time to break through boundaries and start working together to create solutions, and value addition are the bedrock for a thriving economic ecosystem