Attempts to achieve export revenue broadening has proved almost futile for Nigeria. Cocoa for example only fetches a paltry $0.5bn (1% of exports). This is why exploiting a fast growing legal Cannabis market is considered to be one of many new creative ideas on revenue diversification. Legitimate cannabis is used primarily for severe pain management, suppressing acute arthritis and other anxiety disorders. On the flip side, illegitimate cannabis is fraught with serious problems starting from the days of the prohibition racket of the 1930s in the US, to becoming a primary source of revenue for the violent Sicilian Mafia.
If Nigeria can capture only 10% of the global legal market of this product, it will earn an additional $2bn. This will give the unemployed youths in the Niger Delta a legitimate means of livelihood whilst building a more functional society.
In the slides, Bismarck Rewane and the FDC Think Tank discuss the export potential of legitimate Marijuana in Nigeria and the risks of legalization without proper management/control.
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