Nigeria’s non-oil sector too weak to compete, says NICOP

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Ana Vinambre, Acting head of the Nigeria Competitiveness Project (NICOP), has lamented the weak competitive state of most non-oil sectors in Nigeria due to identified challenges.

Vinambre speaking at the round table forum on trade policy and enabling environment eco-system for NICOP’s value chains on Tuesday in Abuja, said that the potentials embedded in the exportation of local produce has been left untapped as several factors have rendered the non-oil sector too weak to compete in the international market.

“Goods exportation is key in promoting sustainable and inclusive growth. However most non-oil sectors have shown a very weak competitiveness due to various challenges such as unfriendly business environment for trade and investment, lack of required infrastructures, among others,” she said.

She further explained that poor allocation of both human and financial resources has led to market distortion and reduced firms’ competitive ability, adding that Nigeria has not met the basic needs of the market in terms of skills, technology and market access capabilities, as well as infrastructures required to provide needed services for quality output.

Vinambre said that NICOP aimed at improving the performance, growth and contribution to industry, regional trade and export of selected value chains and improving the climate for business by promoting advocacy and reforms of government policies and regulations in favour of industrial and agricultural competitiveness.

“NICOP was designed to promote structural transformation to provide improved access to regional and international markets while taking social and environmental concerns into consideration,” she explained.

Ayokunnu Oteniyi, Project manager, Enabling business environment secretariat, said that the forum which is first in the series under the project is aimed at bringing all relevant stakeholders together to identify and map all constraints and gaps in the regulatory and administrative support mechanisms for our targeted value chains at