Insights: Yemi Kale reveals key advantages and limiting factors for Nigeria’s economy

Article summary

  • Leading economist Dr. Yemi Kale highlighted Nigeria’s unique economic advantages during the Nairametrics Economic Outlook event, emphasizing its people, resources, and strategic location.
  • Dr. Kale noted that Nigeria’s advantages include a large population of entrepreneurial individuals, abundant mineral resources, vast arable land, and a strategic maritime market.
  • However, he pointed out limiting factors such as political instability, unforced errors, poor planning, over-dependence on oil, and inadequate infrastructure that hinder Nigeria from fully capitalizing on its potential.

Leading economist Dr. Yemi Kale highlighted Nigeria’s unique economic advantages during the Nairametrics Economic Outlook event titled “Fostering Economic Resilience: Harnessing Opportunities for Development” held on Saturday. 

According to Dr. Kale, Nigeria possesses an abundance of people, resources, and a strategic location, setting it apart from other African countries. His remarks emphasized the potential for harnessing these advantages to foster economic resilience and drive development.

He added that the factors preventing Nigeria from taking full advantage of these include over-dependence on oil, unforced errors, and poor planning. 


Yemi Kale noted that Nigeria’s vast potential is well recognized, which gives us a huge advantage in the region and continent, and also even among emerging economies, and keeps investors interested in Nigeria, he added: 

  • First is the huge population of young entrepreneurial people, which will suggest a huge potential market and for the future, especially as in Nigeria, our natural resources need the large labour source, especially for scale, which is tied to sizable remittances. 
  • “Secondly its mineral resources to globally demanded minerals, the presence enables Nigeria to tap into global rare earth and commodities, especially as the world is moving away from fossil fuels, 
  • “Thirdly, the huge arable land, which significantly less than half has been exploited and helped Nigeria become a powerhouse of raw and semi-processed agro commodities, the arable land is generally scattered, with low means of production, which gives it huge potential.” 

He also added the huge maritime market, its location to the coast, and its proximity to the Gulf of Guinea, which can enable export to the South, and also an opportunity for massive tourism. 

  • Nigeria’s advantages lie in its people, resources, and location, and no other African country possesses them in greater quantity than Nigeria,” he said. 

Limiting Factors 

He noted that Political instability for a long period is a major limiting factor, adding that Nigeria has not experienced an extended period of growth and development, constantly moving from start to stop, other he stated are: 

  • “Unforced errors, things that we did to ourselves, bad policies, bad strategy, and when the government is told that strategy is not working they just continue, 
  • “The most obvious is our dependence on oil, the major difference between countries we were better in the 1960s and left us today, and that is because they faced proper agenda.”

He emphasized that inadequate planning is a significant challenge, evident in the poor infrastructure, availability of unskilled labor jobs, improper port categorization, and reliance on subsistence farming.

Additionally, the use of oil revenue for imports, the proposed consideration by the Federal Government to move solid to the concurrent list, the need for a developed supply chain model for heavy industries, the lack of land use act reform, and other factors further compound the issue.

  • “An over-dependence on oil, unforced errors and poor planning is preventing Nigeria from taking advantage of its huge potential.” 

In case you missed it 

Nairametrics reported earlier that Dr. Yemi Kale projected that Nigeria’s inflation could rise to 30% in June 2023 as the new PMS price could add about 6% to the CPI for June over the expected May CPI. 

  •  “Using the NBS CPI model+my macro model, the new PMS prices may add about 6% to CPI in June over whatever is reported in May, holding other things constant. April was 22.22% & May is unknown & won’t be affected. So June will be somewhere about 30%. Not as bad as I expected,” he said.