A retired Director of the CBN, Mr Chris Nemedia, on Monday urged the Federal Government to be less-dependent on trading in crude oil in the international market.
Nemedia, who made the plea in an interview with newsmen in Lagos, said that processed commodities were more profitable to trade in. `Emphasis should be on adding value to the primary commodities like oil before exporting them in order to get the desired yield like other nations from natural resources
“A major achievement of this government will be to make us belong to the league of countries that trade in manufactured products. `By now, we ought to have improved on the processing and refining of our crude oil,’’ the former CBN director said. According to Nemedia, there has been steady decline in commodity prices internationally in the last one year.
He said the decline had been to the detriment of economies that relied solely on exporting the commodities in their crude state. Nemedia urged the government to give priority to the value of the nation’s primary products for export. “President Buhari needs to emphasise the establishment of processing plants by partnering with the private sector. “Former developing economies that have moved to a more advanced stage went the way of industrialisation and manufacturing to change their fortunes,’’ he said.
Nemedia said that the hallmark of diversification of the economy should be increased industrialisation and manufacturing. “We have the population to sustain the consumption of locally-manufactured goods to our benefit,’’ he said. The National Bureau of Statistics said that till 2014, exportation of crude oil and natural gas accounted for more than 91 per cent of total exports.