Atiku Seeks Full Diversification of Economy

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Atiku Abubakar
Atiku Abubakar

Chuks Okocha in Abuja

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, has called for the commencement of full diversification of the Nigeria’s economy, stating that the crash of crude oil price in the international market was an indication that the era of crude has gone.

Atiku also condemned the various loans taken by the All Progressives Congress (APC) led federal government and called for the cancelation of the planned renovation of the National Assembly with $100 million.

He said: “As at today, May 1, 2020, Nigeria is pricing its very low sulphur sweet crude at $10 per barrel, yet buyers are balking. Our sweet crude is becoming a little bitter.

“As I write this, there are hundreds of crude oil laden ships, all filled up, with nowhere to berth and accruing daily charges of an average of $30,000.”

He said that on Monday, April 27, 2020, the British oil and gas giant, BP, became the latest in a growing number of energy firms to declare a massive quarterly loss in the region of $4.4 billion.

“Bear in mind that this was a conglomerate that posted a $2.6 billion profit in the corresponding quarter of
2019.

“We have also seen crude oil prices plunge to record lows, to the extent that some variants of the product have been given out for free, or worse still, producers have paid storage facilities to take their products.”

“We must face the fact that reliance on crude oil is failing Nigeria. Now is the time for Nigeria and her contemporaries to cure their addiction to sweet crude. For far too long we have grown high on our own supply, to the extent that we have neglected almost every other sector of our economy.

“We must cut our coat, not according to our size, but according to our cloth. Our Presidential Air Fleet of almost 10 planes should go. Our jumbo budgets for our legislature must go. The planned $100 million renovation of our National Assembly must be cancelled.

“Barely three years ago, I had also alerted that the ‘crude thinking’ promoted by our dependence on crude oil will lead to a rude
shock.

“If you are still talking about oil, you are in the past. As far as I am concerned, the era of oil is gone. If you want to believe it, believe it. If you do not want to believe it, you will see it. It is crude thinking to continue to talk and base development projections on crude oil.”

“We cannot be funding non necessities with debt and not expect our economy to collapse. Our civil servants must come to the realisation that Nigeria cannot sustain its size and profligacy. The same cost saving measures must be adopted by the states and councils government,” Atiku said.

He added that “we must, as nation, begin to invest our resources wisely in order to maximise dividends. We must liberalise our land tenure system to make it possible and easy for some of the 27 million unemployed Nigerians to become farmers, even as sharecroppers.”