Economic diversification and ethical leadership, key to resolving Nigeria’s economic crisis

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Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) explained that economic diversification and ethical leadership at all levels of government are the key remedies to the current economic headwinds in Nigeria.

This statement was made by Professor Danbatta during the presentation of a paper titled: “Ethical Leadership as an Instrument for National Sustainability in the Post-Oil Nigerian Economy: A Public Sector Perspective” at a two-day hybrid (online and onsite) Annual Directors Conference (ADC) organized by the Institute of Directors (IoD).

During his presentation, he said that the centrality of economic diversification and ethical leadership at all levels of government is the panacea to the current economic headwinds in Nigeria.

Danbatta explained that Nigeria’s economic shift to oil revenue following the discovery of oil in the 1970s, led to the relegation of agriculture, which was the source of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings.

However, he disclosed that the government has realized that Nigeria cannot be solely dependent on oil earnings anymore, hence the decision of the FG to explore ways of diversifying the economy.


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Economic diversification, according to Danbatta, is the process of shifting an economy away from a single income source towards multiple sources from a growing range of sectors and markets.

However, a well-implemented diversification strategy would bring about inclusive growth across all sectors of the economy, and this will increase productivity, create jobs, and provide the basis for sustained economic growth.

The EVC noted that the Federal Government has made several attempts at economic diversification and such attempts have had little impact as the majority of them have folded up, while others are finding it difficult to survive.

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He explained that the situation has further been compounded by the recent economic recession and the COVID-19 pandemic, which adversely affected the global economy, including Nigeria. He disclosed that Ethical Leadership in this regard will play a huge role in ensuring National Sustainability.

Zeroing on the centrality of ethical leadership in the public sector, Danbatta said in order to achieve national sustainability in the post-oil Nigerian economy, the highest standard of ethical leadership is required of all leaders especially in the public sector.

What they are saying

While speaking at the event, The EVC of NCC said, “Ethical leadership is essential for sustainable development of a Country. Nurturing an ethical leadership culture is essential and this will determine the transformation and overall development of the Country. Nigeria stands at the threshold of history and would definitely need ethical leaders to ensure sustainability in the post-oil era as government takes positive steps to diversify the economy.”

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