5 WAYS NIGERIA COULD GENERATE FOREIGN EARNINGS APART FROM CRUDE OIL EXPORTATION
What are the other means of earning foreign currency apart from oil?
1. DIASPORA: It has become the second largest contributor to Nigeria’s GDP in foreign exchange earnings second only to oil, 21 billion USD. Moreover, Nigerians in diaspora are now number 3 overall contributors to Nigeria’s GDP, trailing only Lagos and Rivers State. Lagos state contributes to the Nigerian GDP over 40 billion USD according to the 2013 statistic, Rivers state 22 billion dollars, Diaspora 21 billion USD. I personally feel we must establish a ministry of Diaspora and integration. If we give the diaspora the necessary support the 21 billion USD they are sending now could easily be multiplied 10 times giving us a yearly foreign exchange earnings as big as the size of the budget of Russia or France.
2. Another source of foreign currency earning could be identified as economic zones. I personally believe that the federal government should turn places like Aba, Onitsha, Lagos, etc into special industrial hubs. I would like to call on the government to try and create special incentives for this young Nigerians who are producing, shoes, bags, clothes, jewelries and other miscellaneous. The Nigerian government should invest in the expertise of this young men. The government needs to put money into helping them become competitive enough to at least take over the African market. That would earn us a lot of the foreign currency that is going from Africa to Europe.
3. I believe we could easily compete with Asian Tiger countries that major in the mass production of soft industrial products like: slippers, socks, underwear, T shirts etc. Looking at all the boys struggling to sell their products in Lagos traffic during rush hours, we know that we have a huge resource there. We could put money into all these young people for a mass production of such products for export. Take them off the streets where they are presently constituting a nuisance and empower them to make products good enough for at least the African market. There lies our foreign exchange earnings.
4. One of the very strong areas of foreign earning for Nigeria could be, investing in young minds, young scientist, and researchers. Nigerians are very creative and if we get behind our young men with brains, we could have a lot of products coming out of Nigeria that are not in any other part of the world. That would surly bring us a lot of foreign exchange earnings in the long run.
5. Nigeria is the most populous black nation in the world. It is said that 1 out of every 5 black people you meet is a Nigerian. To me that is already a source of foreign exchange earnings. We could turn every Nigerian into a tourist ambassador to bring in foreigners with their foreign currencies to our country. More so if 1 in every 5 black men is Nigerian then we could provide services to other African countries purely coming from our size and number. Thereby earning some more foreign exchange. That is what China, India, USA, Russia are doing all over the world. Size matters!
To be continued tomorrow…
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, CHURCH AND NATION
By Pastor Sunday Adelaja.