The World Bank says Nigeria, as the largest producer of cassava, can develop its economy by exporting quality cassava and other commodities other than oil.
Mr Onno Ruhl, the World Bank Country Director in Nigeria, said this while answering questions from newsmen in Abuja .
“ You have the most cassava in the world but apparently it is not the best; the quality may not be there so let us focus on how we increase the standard,’’ he said.
The country director said one of the greatest problems with the Nigerian economy was its over reliance on oil, as well as the mono-revenue and export economy system.
“Nigeria is not a mono-product economy, it is a mono-revenue economy and a mono-export economy because in the other sectors there are no exports, very low fiscal revenues, that is where your challenge is but oil is only 17 per cent of your GDP, 83 per cent is everything else taken together,’’ Ruhl said.
He said that Nigeria stood to benefit a lot in developing its agriculture and the wholesale and retail services sectors which, he said, were actually bigger than the oil sector.
“Oil is actually the fourth largest sector of the Nigerian economy; the largest sector is agriculture, the second largest sector is wholesale and retail and services is the third largest.
“So what Nigeria should do is focus on propelling these other sectors forward so that they can also export, so that you are less dependent on oil and finding ways of generating revenues for the government for legitimate investment in infrastructure, health and education,’’ he said.
Ruhl stressed the need for Nigeria to ensure quality products and also create an enabling environment for business to thrive.
He described the growth of Nigeria ’s economy as commendable, but maintained that a lot still needed to be done for the country to achieve Vision 20: 2020.
Ruhl said that the proper implementation of the road map on power and the removal of all bottlenecks and bureaucracy, especially at the ports, would ensure the evolvement of a better economy.