Nigeria will diversify economy from oil – Onyeama

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Geoffrey Onyeama said in Abuja on Thursday that Nigeria would diversify its economy due to tremendous economic challenges arising from drastic fall in oil price.
Onyeama made the remark when he received the Director-General of UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Ms Irina Bokova during a visit.
The minister said “one of the important tools we have is innovation and education to get our economy back on track and to get the capacity among our people.
“It is no longer the time when countries can just depend on single commodity to sustain the economy in this very competitive global village”, he added.
He commended UNESCO for recognising Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage, saying that the Federal Government hoped to give global recognition and protection to Durbar as a cultural heritage.
Bokova pledged support to President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision for peace and security in the northeast of the country.
Bokova said the challenges confronting Nigeria were opportunities for sustainable development.
“Despite some challenging circumstances, we want to see how we can support the very strategic vision of President Buhari for development in the northeast.
“This is something that we are doing with Chad, Niger, with countries affected by extremism, terrorism and Boko Haram around Lake Chad.
“We will continue to complement the efforts of the president and government in these challenges.”
She commended Nigeria for taking the lead in all of the areas which fall under the competence of UNESCO, in spite of several challenges.
“It is an understatement to say that Nigeria, this giant of Africa as everybody calls this great country, plays an enormous role with UNESCO”, she said.
Bokova said UNESCO’s upcoming Executive Board meeting in October would focus on biodiversity, climate change, water, social inclusion, good governance, freedom of expression, new technologies, culture and urban development.
“I think all of these issues have relevance to the President Buhari’s change agenda here in Nigeria.
“My visit is to explore the possibilities to strengthen our cooperation in education.’’
She said she would visit the National Open University of Nigeria to see how open education can bring more spread of knowledge and quality of education.
“We want to leverage our two centers on water in Kaduna and University of Nigeria, Nsukka on bio-technology, science, technology and innovation.
We have started in a very dynamic measure and looking at the second phase”, she said