Palm Oil Production And Marijuana Farming: New Faces For Nigeria Economy

Having suffered a recession, the Nigeria economy has been trying to crawl itself back to her feet with only one major medium of revenue, Crude Oil.

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A blow to hit the nation was in 2018 when the giant of Africa was listed to have overtaken India as the poorest country, according to a news report by Sahara Reporters.

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Brookings Institution, a non-profit public policy organization in the USA, ranked Nigeria as the poorest country in the world with the highest number of people leaving in extreme poverty.

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The report reads: “According to our projections, Nigeria has already overtaken India as the country with the largest number of extreme poor in early 2018, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo could soon take over the number 2 spot.

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“At the end of May 2018, our trajectories suggest that Nigeria had about 87 million people in extreme poverty, compared with India’s 73 million. What is more, extreme poverty in Nigeria is growing by six people every minute, while poverty in India continues to fall.”

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Ever since the recession, Nigeria economy has been trying to come back to her feet. According to the report by Africa News, it reveals in its publication, “Nigeria’s economic growth slows for the first time since the end of the recession” that the economy grew 1.9%5 per cent, which is a slow progress for the nation.

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Considering a new face which can boost and restore the economy of Africa’s largest country back to her feet, the nation does not need an expanded oil and gas industry, a good look into palm oil production and marijuana farming might salvage the failing economy of the nation.

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While speaking in a meeting on the 20th of March, 2019 in Abuja, with 11 governors of the oil-producing states in the South-South, South-East region of Nigeria and other top government officials, Governor of the Central Bank Of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele reveals that Nigeria might be able to generate $10 billion annually if she produces palm oil at the current global market price of $600 per tonne and an assumed production level of 16 million tonnes.

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A legal opinion by Kayode Ajulo, PhD titled; “Legality Of Marijuana In Nigeria”, revealed that globally, the medical cannabis industry is projected to be $55.8 billion by 2025.

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With this discovery, many countries are beginning to make legal, the use of cannabis, to control and tackle its increased abuse and illegal trafficking.

The legalisation has huge economic implication. For instance, the Drug Policy Unit of the Faculty of Psychology of the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) has calculated the revenue that would imply legalize cannabis in Spain.

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According to UAB analysis, the Spanish Public Treasury would receive €3,3 billion ($3,71 billion) per year in taxes and social security contributions.

Though regarded illegal, Nigeria is a major source of grown cannabis in West Africa and the country ranks the world eight highest consumer. It is widely grown in states in Nigeria including, Ondo, Edo, Delta, Osun, Oyo State and Ogun State.

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Surprisingly, despite the illegality ban placed on the substance, the nation according to a study of Secondary Schools in Northern Nigeria, realised that substance abuse ranged between 1.1 ‑ 3.5% with a male to female ratio of substance abuse of 3:1. 3% smoked cigarettes, benzodiazepines abused by 3.5% and solvents by 1.5%.

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The planting and legalisation of marijuana will not only reduce and control abuse of the substance, but it also would become a medium for revenue generation, that might help the nation jolt back to her feet economically strong as the giant of Africa again.

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Nigeria is a growing and emerging economy with many juicy resources that can help the nation remain forever  green as her flag reveals.

So, the government and top businessmen can look away from crude oil and take advantage of the future economy.

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