Nigerians have been urged to celebrate the decline of crude oil as major revenue source for the country, because of the unique opportunity the situation provides to effectively diversify the economy.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, gave the advice in an interview with Voice of Nigeria while assessing how the country has fared so far on its 56th Independence anniversary celebration.
Senator Enang believes that Nigeria is lucky to have President Buhari as leader in this time of recession, noting that he has the political will and high level of integrity that can get the country out of its present state of overdependence on crude oil revenue.
He further submitted that it is not Nigeria’s economy that is in recession but rather, the crude oil economy which the country had depended upon since Independence.
“Nigeria is lucky because at the time our children may have just thought that life is just all about oil, God shows us that life is not all about oil. So we are going to train our children in a manner that they are going to know how other countries of the world are surviving, and that Nigerians should not pray for the recovery of oil because when it was the time of coal, coal became unimportant, the coal were not used for powering train and Enugu with other Igbo speaking areas of Nigeria where coal was produced became less important, we did not pray for it, we moved to the Niger Delta region to get oil. Now oil is no more important, it is now an economic liability.
“We should not cry, weep or wale because oil has gone down but we should take it as an opportunity in our 56th year of independence to move on to other things that countries of the world are using to earn a living,” he explained.
The President’s aide said that the 2017 budget being prepared by the economic team has sound recession exit measures that will help the economy rebound and stabilize in the coming months.
“Now, if you look at the agricultural sector, the water sector, the power sector, works and education sectors, you will see the measures that our government is taking to bring us out of recession, and the greatest of this is posting employment of our young ones and the youths so that every hand will be on deck producing and manufacturing and contributing to the GDP and contributing to feeding each family. These are some of the recession measures and how poised we are as a government,” Senator Enang noted.
He stated that the present administration is building institutions that are rightly directed to doing the correct thing, so as to ensure due process, minimal import, and a determination to be self sufficient in terms of food production and local refining of crude oil.