A former Vice President and 2019 presidential aspirant, Atiku Abubakar has called for diversification of the Nigerian economy
He noted that crude oil had failed Nigeria and there was a need to embrace other sectors like Agriculture.
In a report titled: ‘How to pull Nigeria from the brink,” on his official Twitter handle on Thursday, Atiku said: “As of today, Nigeria is pricing its very low sulphur sweet crude at $10 per barrel, yet buyers are balking. Our sweet oil is becoming a little bitter.
“The era of oil is gone, and we must face the fact that reliance on crude oil is failing Nigeria and other mono-product economies, crude oil exporters.
“We need to diversify our economy, it’s easier said than done but that does not mean it is an impossible task.
“In Nigeria, our diversification should embrace agriculture as the primary sector earmarked for development because agriculture is a low hanging fruit, is key to ensuring food subsistence, and with the recent signing of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement (AFCTA), which favors Nigeria’s economy greatly.”
He also argued that Nigeria was capable of becoming the food basket of Africa.
He added: “With about 60 percent of its land assessed as arable, I genuinely believe that Nigeria is capable of becoming the food basket of the rest of Africa, and the money should be circulating within Africa, strengthening our currencies, growing our GDPs, and enriching our people.
“Now is the time for Nigeria to make those hard decisions it has postponed for far too long. Otherwise, the alternative is an apocalyptic scenario we would rather not entertain.
“We must, as a nation, begin to invest our resources wisely to maximize dividends.
“We must cut our coat, not according to our size, but according to our cloth.
“Our Presidential Air Fleet of almost ten planes should go. Our large budgets for our legislature must go.
“The planned $100 million renovations of our Parliament must be canceled. We cannot be funding non-necessities with debt and not expect our economy to collapse.
“Our civil servants must realise that Nigeria cannot sustain its size and profligacy.
“The same cost-saving measures must be adopted by the states and councils governments.”