‘Nigeria now has opportunity to rethink economic structure’

‘Nigeria now has opportunity to rethink economic structure’

By Collins Nweze

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has created opportunity for Nigeria to spend wisely, and diversify the economy, the founder/Chairman of Africa Initiative for Governance (AIG), Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, has said.

Speaking in a webinar organised by the AIG, a not-for-profit group, he said while governments have committed $15.6 trillion to COVID-19, an average of $2,042 per person, Nigeria’s $6.5 billion in commitments amounted to a paltry $32.50 per person.


Aig-Imoukhuede suggested that the private sector should collaborate more with the government.

The webinar was held, in collaboration with the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford. It had as theme “COVID-19 and the oil price crash: Nigeria’s tough choices”.

Other stakeholders called  on Nigeria to use the opportunity presented by the COVID-19 to diversify the economy.

Prominent Nigerians, who participated in the webinar included, former President Olusegun Obasanjo; former Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi; Speaker, House of Representatives Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila and  Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Folasade Yemi-Esan.

The webinar also featured Ceyla Pazarbasiogu, Vice President for Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions (EFI) at the World Bank; Sir Paul Collier, a Professor of Economics and Public Policy,  Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford and Prof. Ngaire Woods, dean of the Blavatnik School.

Lamido urged Nigerians to take a hard look at the structure of the country to understand that decisions made decades ago have implications for our core governance framework.

“COVID-19 has brought an opportunity for Nigeria to rethink and reinvent the way we lead our people so that we can spend smartly, generate more revenue and also get them to act in a manner that will deal with this pandemic and other health issues,” he said.

Hon. Gbajabiamila, noting that this was indeed a tough time for the country, challenged the notion of Nigeria as a developing country,  adding: “If we harness our resources well, Nigeria should be a developed country, not a developing country.”

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