A Senior Research Analyst at the FXTM Limited, Mr. Lukman Otunuga, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari’s newly-constituted Economic Advisory Council (EAC) to advise the president to focus on steps to mitigate Nigeria’s exposure to oil price shock.
Otunuga, also said the EAC should specifically proffer suggestions tailored towards diversifying the economy away from oil.
The analyst gave the advice in Lagos, on Wednesday, during an interactive session with journalists where he made predictions on Nigeria’s economic outlook for 2020.
Commenting further about the EAC, he said: “They should focus on diversification, because we need to look at the problem and, it’s not really a problem, it’s a curse or blessing. Nigeria is still heavily dependent on oil.
“The new economic team, what they should be looking for should be matrix they can put into place to mitigate Nigeria’s exposure to oil price shock.
“I know we speak about agriculture, you know when we look at the population and the unemployment rate, we have a youth unemployment rate of about 25 per cent.
“We have a population that is pushing over 190 million and we have fertile land, and Nigeria has the ability to grow some produce from agriculture.
“So, like everyone is asking: Is the government taking a step? When are we going to see the impact of those steps?
“Sometime this year, the IMF in a report warned that Nigeria was not doing enough to diversify the economy. It is still the same economic matrix that we are talking about – the heavy reliance on oil.”
While commenting on the 2020 Appropriation Bill the president submitted to the National Assembly recently, he said the revenue target was going to be exposed to external risks, pointing out that, “should the oil price falls below the $57 per barrel bench