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Transformer l’économie nigériane à travers le développement des chaînes de valeur mondiales

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By Eric Kehinde Ogunleye,

Like most African economies, Nigeria faces the challenge of limited economic transformation and diversification. This is evident from the country’s specialization in less dynamic and low value added domestic activities and trading in the global system. The high share of manufacturing imports as a percentage of total merchandise imports in 2012 (71%) and the very low share of manufacturing exports as a percentage of total exports in the same year (2.9%) testify to the weak state of global value chains (GVC) in Nigeria. Furthermore, the total value addition in most sectors has been relatively weak (see Table 1). While the recently rebased GDP has shown mild economic diversification away from agriculture toward services, the economy continues to tilt in favour of the natural resources sector.


1990 -99





Agriculture value added (% growth)






Agriculture value added (% of GDP)






Industry, value added (% growth)






Industry, value added (% of GDP)






Manufacturing, value added (% growth)






Manufacturing, value added (% of GDP)






Services, etc., value added (% growth)






Services, etc., value added (% of GDP)






Table 1. Valued added by activity in Nigeria
Source: Africa Development Indicators Database.

Changing the status quo requires modifying the orientation of the economic production structure in favour of value chain development along the lines of available resources and integrating the chain with the global economy. Nigeria can achieve this because of the country’s high endowment in basic inputs and commodities that would normally form the foundation for GVC. These include several agricultural products (cocoa, groundnut, palm, cotton, cassava, rice, maize, tomatoes, etc.), fisheries, livestock, precious stones (gold, gemstones, etc.), crude oil and natural gas.

The rationale for value chain development and global integration in Nigeria is premised on several grounds. First, it is a viable lever for guiding the country’s economic transformation based on the experiences of many Asian countries whose structural transformation was spurred by exporting more diversified and sophisticated value added products. Second, it offers a solution to the current growth inclusiveness deficiency by addressing the unemployment and poverty challenges facing the country through increased job creation linked to the spectrum of activities along the value chain. Third, it ensures growth sustainability by delinking the economy from fluctuations in commodity prices and weather conditions. As such, it is imperative that Nigeria positions itself to benefit from a developing value chain and to ensure its effective integration and participation in the global value chain system.

The channels through which GVC could help fast-track Nigeria’s drive toward structural transformation include technological upgrade, skills development, emulation of global best production and marketing practices, emergence of new and peripheral productive activities, deepened global market networks, export diversification, and the promotion of inclusive growth through job creation, wealth spread and poverty reduction. Recent ongoing reforms by the government through several initiatives under the Agriculture Transformation Agenda, Staple Crop Processing Zones Initiative and the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan are evidence of renewed impetus for actualizing the high potential the country has to drive GVC development and participation.

Emerging global value chain firms in Nigeria are already rubbing off positively on the West African region and indeed the entire African continent. The Dangote Group, for instance, now has a cement chain that now spans Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Republic of Congo, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.

For Nigeria to seize the potential of GVC to achieve economic and structural transformation, the following policy recommendations are suggested: articulate a clear National Policy on Value Chain Development; focus on areas of comparative and competitive advantage; encourage active engagements in R&D investment by government and private sector players; further improve the business and regulatory environment; empower relevant government agencies to provide the pertinent market information for prospective value chain firms; and undertake a detailed study on the state of GVC in Nigeria with a view to providing the intellectual background for policy priority setting and support for interventions in GVC development in Nigeria.

Value chain development and global integration should be viewed as one of the key options for Nigeria to access a more sophisticated global market and new technologies and ultimately attain economic diversification and structural transformation and should, therefore, be vigorously pursued.


Sebastian Morris - India 15/01/2016 06:50
Looking for detailed information on the Nigerian Economy
Eric Ogunleye - Nigeria 16/12/2015 04:31
I agree with you Funsho. However, there is need to prepare for the 'big thing' you mentioned. They don't just happen. Deliberate efforts must be made to provoke it.

Hence, the big question is: How ready is the continent, especially Africa in making the 'big thing' happen? This, to a large extent, will depend on getting the fundamentals right. I mean fundamentals on: infrastructure and logistics; leadership; public and private sector governance; regulatory and institutional frameworks; business environment; legal framework; security; monetary, fiscal and social policies; etc., etc. The list is almost endless.

As we speak, several Chinese, Japanese and other Asian Tiger investors are looking for where to relocate global value chain businesses to because of increasing labour cost in Asia. But Africa does not seem to be strong on their radar even though wage income is 25% of what it is in China especially. And the reason they are not looking the way of Africa is simple: the fundamentals such as electricity are missing.

By all means, Africa needs to get the fundamentals right for any meaningful progress.
Funsho Idowu - Nigeria 06/11/2015 14:57
Africa is speedily becoming the new frontier for global emerging market investors. Investors in the emerging equity markets are also developing a taste for Africa.

Nigeria has one of the deepest liquidity pools in Africa. We are about the largest consumer market in Africa and second largest stock market in sub-saharan Africa. Nigeria is tremendously fast paced. The world is looking to Nigeria for the next ‘big thing’ in industries such as internet/ecommerce, energy etc. The opportunities are huge in Africa and Nigeria.


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