Search for Oil in North-East Misplaced Priority, Says Senator Esuene


Okon Bassey in Uyo

Senator Helen Esuene has said that the current search for crude oil deposit in the North-East region of the country was a misplaced priority.

“The search for crude oil in the North-East of Nigeria is a misplacement of priority because in the next two decades the world will be driven by technology, not dependence on oil”.

Esuene, who is the immediate past Senator that represented the people of Eket Senatorial District of Akwa Ibom State, made the declaration on Sunday while addressing a religious meeting of Celeries at the Villa Marina Hotel, Eket, Akwa Ibom State.

The former governorship candidate of Labour Party in the 2015 governorship election in Akwa Ibom state expressed concern about the current economic recession in the country.

She predicted a doom period if the nation does not deliberately engage in an economy-without-oil policy to get out of the present doldrums.

“Right now what is needed to be done is through a clear leadership that can grow the
whole country in a balanced way without a single dime of oil income.

“The present effort of President Buhari’s administration in diversifying the economic base to agriculture has no alternative but the approach needs to be redefined.

“I have suggested the concept of zones of development where you take the country’s six zones and find the endowment in each of these zones around which you will build rapid industrial development through the Public Private Partnership (PPP) that will create quality jobs and lead to growth not based on extractive resource like oil.

“Each State of the Federation must as a matter of urgency, identify Nigeria’s staple food items that can survive in the region at all seasons and make it a duty to attract investors to grow such crops for the nation, mass production of food is the recipe for economic
growth”, she stressed.

Senator Esuene urged the Buhari administration to apply the microeconomic principle of human needs in the budget implementation by making sure that the prices of food items in the market are within the reach of the citizenry.

According to her, a total ban on the importation of rice into the country would have sufficed better after two planting seasons by which time the rice producing zones of the country would have positioned themselves for the task ahead.