Nigeria is on the move. It is making progress. Though there are many challenges, the new team of economic experts assembled by the President is poised to redesign the nation and move it to the path of prosperity. In this report, Tekedia offers insights and perspectives which if considered could put Nigeria towards growth and sustainable progress.
We identified industrial clusters in the nation and we recommend that Nigeria focuses the development efforts around them.
- Transportation and logistics
- Health systems and healthcare
- Business services
- Energy services
- Agriculture and food processing
- Chemical products and plastics
- Entertainment and tourism
Nigeria must come with a diversified strategy where each state or region must develop a plan that will work for it. We cannot run a fix all approach because each of the regions has different strategic opportunities. So, we want to examine the development efforts based on specific regions.
The middle belt of Nigeria offers a opportunity to build a transportation as they link the South and North. Plateau state should be transformed into a hub that can enable an advanced transportation network in the country. Most of the luxury buses pass through this region of middle belt and most of the goods move through them. With better facilities, the state can become a domain that will generate revenue and boost economic growth in the nation.
Tekedia recommends efforts to facilitate formation of industrial clusters in the state. Harvard Business School Professor, Michale Porter, coined the term “industry cluster” on the idea that once an industry achieves a critical mass of businesses, it will give the region an advantage over other areas in the given sector. That way other businesses will come to that region.
Tekedia sees the necessity of developing modernized clusters in Aba for shoe, Kano for leather , among other areas. The government must carefully look at all the regions and enable the creation of the right ecosystem that will help them succeed. Lagos has taken the position for ICT, we can get Sokoto to become the powerhouse of the solar systems development sub-sector. Other regions will focus on sectors they have natural competence.
It must be emphasized that jobs base camps must be developed to have the right manpower in the nation. The country must understand that each of the regions have unique opportunities. Expertise must be locally matched.
Top federal universities in the country must be anchors for new ideas and growth and the nation could play a role to invent and sustain the clusters.
Energy and Sustainable Energy
Our universities could play major roles in this area. There is also an opportunity in the Northern part to help jumpstart solar technology business. Government should expand the focus of government labs to making them innovation platforms where research outputs are taking to the market.
Nigeria has an opportunity in this sector. The national university teaching hospitals must be anchored to drive innovation and build a cluster of health focused private companies in the region. We need to get beyond services to encouraging local product development and design.
Nigeria must develop and implement what is called INCITE Initiatives. INCITE means INnovation, Commercialization, Investment, Technology, and Entrepreneur. We recommend a modernized and better executed StepB Nigeria project that does not focus on federal agencies and institutes to any organization with innovation capacity, including private. Tekedia recommends $500 million to help drive this project, nationwide. Entrepreneurship and commercialization of ideas must be paramount in any plan.
Nigeria remains a toxic place for business because the cost of business is high. Nigeria needs to provide basic amenities to help companies have opportunities to prosper. Also, the IPR must be strengthened so that companies can do real creative works with assurances that their works will be protected.
Foreign Direct Investment
Nigeria has a duty to make the nation to be seen within the lens as a good place for FDI. Understanding that most of the states are not economically viable without government support, Nigeria needs to invent a new process to make sure that development is not localized within Lagos, Abuja, Ibadan, PHC and other states. We have to use local tax incentives and laws to expand FDI into other regions of the nation.
Nigerian business ecosystem is tough. More companies collapse within ten years than succeed. Multiple taxation is common and excessive bureaucracy is rampant. While it takes few minutes to register a company in some advanced nations, it needs more than three months in Nigeria.