We need to diversify our economy from oil to agriculture, small and medium scale enterprises, aviation, and tourism: oil alone can no longer sustain Nigeria’s economy.
Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State said this in his remarks at a two-day retreat on Petroleum Industry Act 2021 organised by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission in Uyo on Wednesday.
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Mr Moses Ekpo, added that industrialised countries are seeking alternative sources of power apart from oil, noting that Nigeria must begin to explore other sources of revenue.
Our correspondent reports that the theme of the retreat is; “petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021, and its Impact on Federation Revenue.”
He said: “Let me however emphasise a central issue that must be addressed urgently, the need to diversify our economy and be less dependent on oil.
“We are aware of the determined efforts of industrialised nations to wean themselves off oil, and place emphasis on other sources to power their economy.”
Emmanuel called participants at the retreat to brainstorm and make recommendations on how the federation account would benefit from the decentralisation of the oil industry, especially as it affects the host communities.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, Mr Umaru Abdullahi, Acting Chairman, Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, said that the oil industry is very important to the country and has a major impact on the nation’s economy.
Abdullahi said that even though the industry contributed less than 10 per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product, the industry accounts for over 80 per cent of the nation’s foreign earnings.
He noted that any adverse change in the industry would have a major and long-term impact on federation revenue, stressing that it might have been the reason governments in the past and present concentrated on the sector.
The chairman commended the present government for being courageous to enact the petroleum industry act after so many years.