[Nigeria Business Week] Andrea Ayemoba: Government, Central Bank turn focus to the startup movement
There’s an ongoing comparison in Nigeria's status quo that is causing some rift – the national statistics and reports are showing a promising and stable economy, but the situation on-ground reflects a different reality. Fuel prices are a current issue – long cues at stations persist, with petrol prices rising and and transport fares hiking enormously. The government has paid billions of naira to petrol transporters in an effort to smoothen distribution of fuel across the country.
Nigeria’s agricultural capabilities are not to be underestimated, as has been asserted by the Central Bank governor. Lands are fertile in Nigeria and it has long been a focal point that agriculture and farming are the gateway to success and food sustainability. Amidst economic fluctuations, the Flour Mills of Nigeria has turned a healthy profit in the past year. The Central Bank has liaised with a prominent bank to finance a new rice milling factory, while simultaneously launching a rice-milling factory in a northern state. In the west, the Lagos regional government has launched an initiative to ensure food affordability and security.
Other sectors have equally been in the spotlight with new innovations and initiatives. Dangote Peugeot Automobiles has commenced vehicle assembly in Kaduna and a digital insurance company has raised millions of dollars in funding. On the Oil and Gas lane, Nigeria fell short of its OPEC output quota in January, causing a plunge in oil revenues.
The need for entrepreneurship and nurturing of startups has been gaining traction in the past few years. The CBN has published a list of the companies that have so far benefited from its loan disbursement scheme to boost job creation across a sea of industries ranging from manufacturing to healthcare. Also in the interest of wealth creation, Publiseer platform works to promote and monetize the creative works of Africa’s artistic talents. Others from the international community have come together to form an organization aiming to ease the startup movement.
The big question has turned up a rather simple answer: startups, entrepreneurship, job creation – one after another, together they are key to economic sustainability.