Mrs Hauwa Huru Akashim has urged Nigeria and Nigerians to refocus its investment decisions to tap into the global wellness industry which is currently valued at over $4.2 trillion.
Akashim CEO Infinite Wealth and Founder African Wellness Summit, who spoke on the sidelines of the Summit held at the weekend said that it had become more important for Nigeria to invest into processing most of the raw materials it exported.
She described wellness as a process of living healthy, by how one eats, who one relates with, what one does and everything that keeps one healthy and stops one from falling sick.
She stressed that if Nigeria begins to process raw products like sesame seed, cashew nuts, hibiscus and others into finished products, then it can make its mark in the global wellness industry.
“Presently the global wellness industry is worth $4.2 trillion and Africa has not been captured completely.
“The only part in which Africa has been captured is that of tourism and the countries captured are South Africa and Kenya. What about Nigeria? Nobody is talking about Nigeria.
“If they do not have the figure for Africa it means that global wellness economics is worth more than $4,2 trillion, This is because no one is interested, no one is talking about it.
“The only sub-sector in the wellness industry that has been spoken about and written about is the beauty. What about the tourism, what about the real estate what about the healthy living aspect.
“We are talking about nine sub-sectors of the wellness industry. Where is Nigeria in it? It is a question that we are still looking for answers to,” she said.
Giving an insight into the summit, she said that even was aimed at bringing all the professionals in the wellness industry under one roof where there could be synergy, network with the hope of expanding on the possibility of that industry.
Akashim added that if Nigeria would make the right decisions to invest in the right sub-sectors of the wellness industry, then it can generate billions of dollars in revenue for the country and its citizens.
“Nigeria would stand to gain billions of dollars if it gets interested in this industry.
“I talk about my products sesame because I understand it very well. The only way Nigeria makes money from sesame seed is exporting it raw. If we decide to process and package for export, that is a lot.
“Nigeria’s cashew nuts are rated among the best 5 in the World, but Nigerians are not processing it, they are exporting it raw.
“Also, 60 to 70 per cent of the tiger nuts sold in Nigeria are not farmed in Nigeria, they come from Niger republic. But they can be farmed inplaces like Bauchi, Borno but no one is interested in investing in that market.
“If you look at the number of businesses that utilize tiger nuts and its health benefits, I would have expected that the government would have looked into expanding that sector.
“She also spoke about hibiscus which is being exported raw and packaged into tea which is then imported and sold at exorbitant prices.
She recommended that the government should open a facility where small businesses can go to produce their products. “That is what I expect the federal government to do.
The Summit had various sessions with panelist speaking on various topics ranging from healthcare to beauty, skin care, exercising, entrepreneurship and networking.
Some of the panelists who spoke harped on the need to take care of the body from the inside, nothing that it is what happens inside that manifests on the outside.