Thursday, 24 July 2014

Nigeria has the potential to become a major economic force in the coming decades - McKinsey report

Since 1999, Nigeria has proven to be both politically and economically stable and new data released this year show that it is now the largest economy in Africa, in addition to being the most populous.(1)  The new data also show that Nigeria’s economy is far more diverse than previously understood. While the nation’s rich oil reserves remain a critical source of government income and exports, the entire resources sector today is only 14 percent of GDP. Agriculture and trade are larger and faster-growing. It is also not generally recognized that Nigerian productivity, which remains low, has been growing recently and now contributes more to GDP growth than does the expanding population.


“What people overlook is Nigeria’s extraordinary advantages for future growth, including a large consumer market, a strategic geographic location, and a young and highly entrepreneurial population,” says Reinaldo Fiorini, director and location manager of McKinsey’s Lagos office. The results of Nigeria’s progress, however, have not been spread evenly across its economy. More than 40 percent of Nigerians live below the nation’s official poverty line and 130 million (74 percent of the population) live below the MGI Empowerment Line(2)—a level of income and access to vital services that provides a decent standard of living.


Chief reasons for Nigeria’s persistent poverty include low farm productivity due to limited access to fertilizer and mechanized tools, and inefficient markets. At the same time, urbanization has not raised incomes the way it has in other developing economies. This is because formal job creation and skill development in Nigeria’s cities have been weak, making productivity in urban sectors such as manufacturing lower than in agriculture.


Looking ahead, the report finds that Nigeria has the potential to expand its economy by roughly 7.1 percent per year through 2030, raising GDP to more than $1.6 trillion. This could make Nigeria a top-20 global economy—with higher GDP than the Netherlands, Thailand, or Malaysia in 2030.What’s more a large consuming class is developing in Nigeria, with potentially as many as 160 million members by 2030, more than the current populations of France and Germany combined.  This upside scenario is based on a bottom-up analysis of the potential for five major sectors of the Nigerian economy:


-        Trade. Based on an expanding consumer class in Nigeria, MGI projects that consumption could more than triple, rising from $388 billion a year today to $1.4 trillion a year in 2030, an annual increase of about 8 percent. This would make trade the largest sector of the economy and provides a particularly good opportunity for makers of packaged foods and fast-moving consumer items such as juices, which could grow by more than 10 percent per year.


-        Agriculture. Improvements on several fronts can help raise both the volume and value of Nigerian agricultural production in the next 15 years. The sector, which is now the largest at 22 percent of GDP, could more than double from $112 billion per year in 2013 to $263 billion by 2030. This would require raising yields through greater use of fertiliser, seeds, and mechanized implements; shifting the crop mix to more valuable crops; increasing the amount of land under cultivation; reducing post-harvest losses; and raising more livestock and increasing the output of forestry and fisheries.


-        Infrastructure. On average, the value of a nation’s core infrastructure—roads, railways, ports, airports, the electrical system—is about 70 percent of GDP; in Nigeria, core infrastructure is estimated to be about 35 - 40 percent of GDP. It has one-seventh the roads per kilometer as India. On a per capita basis, Nigeria has one-third the residential buildings of Indonesia and one-sixth of the commercial space. Between core infrastructure and real estate, total infrastructure investments in Nigeria could reach $1.5 trillion between 2014 and 2030. This would not only make infrastructure building a major contributor to GDP, but also an enabler of growth across the economy.


-        Manufacturing. Manufacturing in Nigeria remains at a relatively early stage of development, contributing $35 billion, or about 7 percent of GDP, in 2013. It has, however, achieved strong growth recently, with output rising by 13 percent per year from 2010 to 2013.  Based on current trends, this could yield a four-fold increase in manufacturing output by 2030, to $144 billion per year (an annual growth rate of 8.7 percent). Local processing (packaged foods, for example) and commodities would continue to be the largest manufacturing industries in Nigeria.


-        Oil and gas. While the oil and gas sector is expected to grow by 2.3 percent per year at best, its success is still vital to the Nigerian economy. With the right reforms, liquids production could increase from 2.35 million barrels a day on average to a new high of 3.13 million barrels a day by 2030, contributing $22 billion to GDP by 2030. Natural gas output could grow by as much as 6 percent per year, adding $13 billion to GDP by 2030. In total, the oil and gas sector has the potential to contribute $108 billion per year by 2030, up from $73 billion in 2013. However, this assumes that the sector is successful in dealing with current obstacles such as security and can attract fresh investment. 


If Nigeria can better link growth to poverty reduction, 70 million citizens could be lifted out of poverty and 120 million could have the resources to reach the Empowerment Line. We estimate that, under the most favorable circumstances, for each percent of GDP growth, poverty would be reduced by 0.20 percent, a rate that is between the ratios of Brazil (0.15) and Ghana (0.25). Tying growth to rising living standards across the economy will depend on raising farm incomes and creating more formal urban jobs. It will also require actions by the government—including reconsidering tariffs that raise the cost of imported food and re-prioritizing government spending needed to programmes that lead to economic empowerment.


While government has put in place clear strategies and plans for various sectors, the most important step that government can take now is to improve its ability to deliver its programs and services. These range from “safety-net” support payments to the poor, to health care, education and infrastructure. Nigeria trails peer economies on metrics such as child mortality and literacy. Basic literacy among 15- to24-year-olds—a crucial indicator for potential economic success—is just 66 percent, compared with 99 percent in South Africa, for example. A critical initiative for Nigeria, then, will be to adopt the best practices that have been well established around the world for improving delivery of government services. These include selecting strong, empowered leadership, raising pressure for government departments and agencies to perform, using “delivery units” (dedicated multi-disciplinary teams that can work across bureaucracies), and collaborating with the private sector and other stakeholders.


Nigeria can also capitalize on several favorable trends such as rising demand from emerging economies, growing global demand for resources, and the spread of the digital economy. Nigeria also has a young and rapidly-growing population and an advantageous geographic location in West Africa, which enables trade within the continent and with Europe and North and South America.


“By capitalizing on its strengths and positioning itself to take advantage of emerging global trends, Nigeria could potentially triple its GDP by 2030,” says Acha Leke, a director in McKinsey’s Nigeria office. “This adds up to a huge opportunity for inclusive growth that should not be missed.”


Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Okun Alfa: Nigeria's Coastal Community at the Mercy of the Atlantic Ocean

Okun Alfa is a coastal community located in Lagos South-West Nigeria along the Lagos coastline and bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the South. The community's beach known as Alpha Beach used to be a popular tourist attraction for many fun seekers at weekends and festive periods. Increasing level of shoreline erosion and ocean surges in recent years,has claimed the beach with massive flood which has destroyed property worth millions of Naira.

The only primary health centre in the community has been destroyed and abandoned by health workers as the raging sea eats away the land and their building.

                                         The Health Center in 2014

Alpha beach which used to host diverse socio-economic activities and gigs is now a ghost town, with the local economy crippled.

Some residents of Okun-Alfa believe that the unrelenting surges is as a result of the multi-billion dollar Eko Atlantic project, undertaken by the State government across an adjourning area of the Lagos coastline. The Eko Atlantic project is the development and construction of an high-brow Atlantic City proposed to inhabit 250,000 residents, among other commercial property ventures in lands that are currently being reclaimed from the Atlantic Ocean.

The project involves the reclamation of 10km of land from the ocean which would be used for the construction of a Dubai-like city in Nigeria's economic capital. The state government is reported to have embarked on the project in a bid to protect Bar Beach (where the reclamation is ongoing) and the adjourning sea side avenue; Ahmadu Bello and Victoria Island. The street which high-brow offices, hotels and lush building due to its location by the ocean, used to be threatened by ocean surges which inundates the road and buildings.

But some experts and critics haved expressed concern that the project (Eko Atlantic City) does not follow the needed due diligence process. The purported Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) for the project is shedded in secrecy by the Lagos state government and some group of civil society alleged that the undisclosed EIA is incomplete. The activists engaged the state government in a discussion on the project in 2012, unsuccessfully. The project is believed to be profit-based without any concern for its impact on the environment. But the state government continues to give the assurance that the project is an adaptation measure, to restore what has been lost to the Atlantic Ocean in the past and converting of a liability to an assest. This is just as the slow devastation proceeds in Okun-Afa.

Also, the Local Council Chairman of Eti-Osa Local Government, where Okun-Alfa is located, expresses a contrary view. Mr. Anofiu Elegushi explained that OKun Alfa community has always experienced ocean surges in the past because the present OKun Alfa is the fourth resettlement.

"Linking the surges in this community to the Eko Atlantic City Project is unfair. But the impact of the surges and flooding during heavy rainfall is made devastating by the absence of a drainage channel and also the neglect of Chevron Nigeria that is hosted by the community. When Chevron Nigeria was constructing their fence they made use of our main access road and in the process heavy duty trucks carrying materials and equipments damaged our road. When they were done with the construction of the fence, they now constructed a new entrance road to be used by only them. This shows lack concern for us their host community. Whenever there is heavy rainfall, the access road is flooded and vehicles get stocked in the potholes on the road. We believe they are a multinational and has a responsibility to the host community'', he concluded.

Recently the Lagos state government commenced the construction of a drainage channel that is expected to re-align with a nearby drainage in another community. This will allow the flood water to flow out into the Lagos Lagoon.

Residents see the drainage construction as a a sigh of relief from the hardship they have experienced whenever there is a heavy downpour and surge.

Friday, 18 July 2014

OKUN Alfa 3 years of continuous ocean surges.

                            OKUN Alfa Only Primary Health Centre in 2011

                                       The Primary Health Centre in 2014

                                                  In 2011



                 State of access road to the community

Monday, 7 July 2014

Cover it live: 20 tips for reporting from the scene


Here are 20 tips on live coverage:

  • If an event is worth sending a journalist to cover in person, it’s worth covering live.

  • The best way to cover events live is usually to set up a liveblog event on your website, autofeed the journalist’s tweets and livetweet the event.

  • Cover live events for people with high interest, rather than for the “average reader” who is often the target of newspaper stories. The high-interest reader wants more volume, detail and analysis.

  • Use a hashtag so someone following on Twitter can click it and see the stream of your tweets. You can add the hashtag to your liveblog autofeed if you want to add public tweets as well (liveblogging tools offer filters to help keep out vulgar language, but people can be creative in their vulgarity).

  • If the pace of the event and your multi-tasking ability allow it, try to engage the public, responding to questions and comments from Twitter and on the liveblog.

  • Assign multiple people to cover a big event. Possible roles, varying by the event and number of journalists: Shooting video to stream live; shooting photos and videos to post into the liveblog; one journalist provides straight coverage while another provides commentary (like play-by-play and color commentators on TV sports coverage); fact-checking; curating tweets from the public to add to liveblog; handling engagement; writing post-event story or column without joining live coverage (or without specific live responsibility).

  • Consider whether the event merits live video. If you can’t stream video live yourself, explore whether some other media outlet or the agency you cover will stream live video. See whether you can pick up an embed code and anchor the video at the top of your liveblog.

  • Set context at the start, explaining what the event is and why it’s important, providing link(s) to earlier coverage, explaining where you are (on sideline, in press box, watching on TV, curating tweets from your desk or home). Reset some of the context occasionally for people who join during the event.

  • Before the event, announce on Twitter that you’re going to be livetweeting, with an apology to those who don’t care about the event. You can suggest that they mute you for a while, using the “mute” option if they click the ellipsis at the lower right corner of a tweet.

  • You’re not providing a transcript of a meeting or a log of every play in a game. You’re reporting. Use news judgment. Provide description, explanation and analysis.

  • If someone mentions a report, video or statistic that you can find online, do some quick research (as the flow of the event allows) and post the link.

  • Explain notable breaks in the liveblog, saying that it’s halftime, lunchtime or just that the court is taking a 15-minute break (or that they’re getting bogged down in a tedious procedural discussion that you think merits a pause).

  • Consider whether you’re likely to be providing a second-screen experience for people watching on TV. If so, you should provide less detail on what happened and more analysis and explanation. If people can’t watch on TV, your reporting of what happened is more important.

  • If you have strong viewership in an event, and a topic where people might have varying views, consider a poll to deepen engagement (Do you favor or oppose the legislation? Should the coach change quarterbacks?).

  • Don’t feel chained to your seat. Get up to shoot some video or photos (and post them to the liveblog). If you didn’t catch a speaker’s name, get up to ask her how she spells it. If you need to step away for a quick interview, do it. You’re a reporter, not a transcriber.

  • Post a link to the liveblog prominently on your home page, including the word “live,” which should be in the headline, too.

  • Do the livetweeting from the journalist’s account, but promote the liveblog on branded social media accounts before and during the event. Retweet some key tweets from the branded Twitter account (an important vote in a meeting, a lead change, when the top-billed performer takes the stage in a concert). It’s a good idea to add a liveblog link to these retweets.

  • If someone at an event says something that you think might be inaccurate, report what they say (if their saying it is newsworthy), but note that you will attempt to verify the accuracy. You can ask the public to help you check the accuracy of the statement. You might not be able to verify or refute the statement immediately, but report what you find, either during the event or afterward. If you make an error yourself or report someone else’s error, correct it quickly.

  • Use the liveblog as your primary notebook for a post-event story. But keep a notebook handy (or an app you can take notes in) for story ideas to check out later, facts you need to verify, etc.

  • Experiment with new techniques for reporting and engaging the community. Learn something from each experiment.

This post originally appeared on The Buttry Diary. It is republished on IJNet with permission.

Steve Buttry, a veteran editor and journalism trainer, is the inaugural Lamar Visiting Scholar at Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Journalism and Communication. He was previously the Digital Transformation Editor at Digital First Media.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

World Business Leaders Gather in Nigeria for Bayelsa Investment and Business Forum




The Bayelsa State Government of Nigeria says it has concluded arrangements to host global business leaders between 16th and 18th July, 2014, at its maiden investment and economic forum with the theme ‘Unlocking Bayelsa State’s Economic Potentials’.







Barrister Kemela Okara, Hon Commissioner for Trade, Industry and Investment, Bayelsa State 

Disclosing this at a press briefing in Lagos, the State Commissioner of Trade, Industry and Investment, Barrister Kemela Okara said the Forum was in line with the present administration’s economic blueprint of a private sector driven economy which he said some foreign investors were already tapping into.


“Our expectation”, he said, “is that potential investors from different parts of the world, within Nigeria and Bayelsans in the Diaspora will come and take advantage of the various opportunities that exist in Agriculture, Aquaculture, Oil and Gas, ICT, Tourism and Hospitality, and Power”.


He further said that in line with the administration’s vision of making the state the Dubai of Africa the government was creating an enabling environment complete with adequate security, infrastructure and an investor-friendly legal framework.


Some on-going projects which the Commissioner said would delight potential investors include the Agge Deep Seaport, the Cargo Airport, the World class diagnostics centre, a multi-billion naira 5-star hotel as well as the free trade zone the state government is planning to establish where there will be non-application of local taxation.


In the same vein, the Director General of the Bayelsa Investment Promotion Agency, Freda Murray-Bruce said that the choice of Bayelsa as host of many international events in the last two and half years evidently attests to the fact that it is the most peaceful state in the country.


Highlighting the achievements of Governor Seriake Dickson’s administration, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, the chief press secretary disclosed that the state was now generating N1billion as internally generated revenue (IGR) per month, representing about 1000 per cent increase; a figure projected to hit N6billion in the next few years. This, he noted, could only be achieved by inviting investors, both foreign and domestic, to invest.


Noting the relevance of the power sector to the economy, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Investment, Cyril Akika disclosed that the government, in addition to the present power supply is planning to generate 3000 megawatts to boost power supply in the state.