The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has urged member countries of the group of eight developing countries, the D-8, to continue to see the fall in commodity prices as an opportunity to diversify their economies.
Osinbajo stated this while declaring open the 6th D-8 Ministerial Meeting on Industrial Cooperation taking place from 14-16 November at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.
He said the fall in commodity prices has led member countries of the organisation to deepen the diversification of their economies and challenged industry to greater productivity and cost effectiveness.
“Most of our nations are achieving great milestones in the use of renewable energy while our young people, despite the difficulties, are competing with their peers in the commercial use of innovation and technology,” the Vice President said.
He listed the fall in commodity prices, huge problems with climate change and slowing of economic growth as some of the challenges faced by the D-8 countries.
“But beside, between now and 2015, ten countries are going to account collectively for over half the world projected population increase. Of that ten, four, including Nigeria, are D-8 countries. All of these countries also have large youth populations who will need education, jobs and livelihoods in the next few years.”
Leveraging on opportunities
According to Osinbajo, the challenging times offered “enormous opportunities,” which the countries should take advantage of.
Osinbajo said it was time for member countries “to leverage on the clear vision of the founders of this organisation for economic co-operation, which is to advance the positions of developing countries in the world economy, diversify and create new opportunities in trade relations and enhance and provide better standards of living for our people.”
He said the main areas marked for co-operation were finance and banking, rural development, science and technology, humanitarian development, agriculture, energy, environment and health.