Abubakar Bello, Managing Director of Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) will deliver the keynote speech, while Ifie Sekibo, MD/CEO of Heritage Bank Limited, will be the guest speaker at the Annual workshop of the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN), holding at Golden Tulip Hotel, Festac Town, Lagos.
Bello will speak on the theme: “Unlocking Opportunities in Nigeria’s Non-Oil Sector,” at the event slated for Saturday, September 21, 2019.
A panel discussion will feature the Director Corporate Communications at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Isaac Okorafor; Head of Tax and Corporate Advisory Services, PwC Nigeria, Taiwo Oyedele, and Senior Lecturer at Lagos Business School, Adi Bongo.
A statement by FICAN at the weekend said unlocking the non-oil sector requires collaborative efforts between the government and private sector adding that opportunities in the sector have to be harnessed for effective economic growth.
“The non-oil sector is critical to Nigeria’s sustainable economic growth as it is the largest source of employment to the country’s huge young population. Before the discovery of crude oil in Nigeria in 1956, the non-oil sector, especially the agricultural sector, was the mainstay of the economy. The agricultural sector alone provided 85% of the country’s foreign exchange earnings in the 60s.
“The oil sector now provides over 95% of the country’s foreign exchange earnings. The challenge is that frequent fluctuation in oil prices has made the Nigerian economy often susceptible to shocks as the economy suffers whenever prices are down. The challenge is further worsened as the world is beginning to look at life after oil in a bid to tackle climate change. It is a pointer that crude oil would become less relevant and attract fewer earnings in years to come. Successive governments have not done enough to tap into other potential non-oil sector sectors,” the statement said.
It said that government’s long term plan is seen in the recent launch of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) for 2017–2020 that contains critical reforms for diversifying the economy away from oil and set it on a path of sustained and inclusive growth over the medium- to long-term.
Among other things, the workshop will bring together experts from global multilateral financial institutions, public and private sector players, to highlight and examine the various options available in getting the economy fully diversified away from reliance on crude oil.
The conference will be attended by journalists covering the money market, capital market, and the insurance industry, from the print and electronic media.