Kebbi State Governor Atiku Bagudo has called for massive investment in other sectors of the country’s economy if much talk of diversifying the economy from oil and gas is to become a reality.
Bagudo on Monday spoke at a public hearing on a bill to create the Nigerian Economic Diversification Council organized by the Senate Committee on National Planning and Economic Affairs.
The governor, who is a former Senator, said that Nigeria is a blessed nation in every sense of the world and “we need the support of different sectors in Nigeria, we need the support of various components of Nigeria to do better.
We’ve done very well in oil and gas not because it’s the only sector, but that’s where we put the most money. We probably put, on an average basis between 1990 and 2010, which invested about $10 billion in oil and gas when I say we are, both public and private.”
According to him “If you measure the amount that was spent on agriculture, for example, in that period, it was probably less than $500 million.”
It wouldn’t be surprising, he said, for the outcome to be different, adding, “It may be that if we took mining, whether it’s gold, which every country has to offer, we might not have invested as much.
For him, “diversification has restructuring is an element of that, so we support the constituent parts whether they are countries or sectors so that each of them can contribute more than they contribute.
“Some of the anger we feel in the land may be caused by not being included when oil production was polluting water bodies or in oil-producing nations.
“Those who until now have used those bodies of water as sources of livelihood for their fisheries, so weeds have taken over those bodies of water. They also got angry and said it doesn’t matter, you can keep producing oil but what about us.
He said that the late President Umaru Yar’Adua realized that we had an amnesty program that was constraining them and that similar things were happening elsewhere that if we recognized and provided legislative support for our diversification quest, we would be able to tell the world that we are serious about it. diversification.
“The evidence in the last seven years has had some positive momentum that we can build and we can do better and faster,” he added, “collectively.”
Nigeria is a trillion dollar investment destination. Nigeria What is our federal budget less than $35 billion? The National Assembly may be about to pass the 2023 budget. I am sure it will not reach $40 billion. What is the budget of Brazil, a country similar to Nigeria in terms of population, about 700 billion dollars.
So if someone is taking care of 220 million people with $700 billion, you’re taking care of 200 people with less than 10 percent of that. Isn’t it illogical that you won’t be able to achieve much. But we all have to come together, we have to borrow more money if that’s what is needed or we have to support all sectors to produce more money so that we can fund all our priorities poorly.
In the upcoming elections, he believes “We have made enough pronouncement in Nigeria that everyone is convinced that free, fair and transparent elections always lead to more trust in society, and less rancor in society.
He said the value of free, fair and transparent elections is there for all to appreciate, adding, “What is important is for everyone to see what more I can do to ensure free, fair and transparent elections.
“Sometimes we’re all guilty of meaning we think someone should solve the problem.
However, he said that even transparent elections do not guarantee the best results, and sometimes democracy is still based on the appeal of populist leaders, leaders who are popular at a given time.
“We must all play a role to ensure that our operations are strengthened and strengthened. Today, the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) is strengthening election transparency through better accreditation, faster accreditation, better timely transmission of results, assisting security agencies and, above all, President Buhari has committed By holding free, fair and transparent elections even in the states where our party lost the elections.
He concluded, “We are a blessed nation in every sense of the word and we have to support and need the support of the various components of Nigeria.”
Mr. Thompson Akpabio of the Nigerian Employers’ Advisory Association (NECA) drew the attention of the Committee to Section 332 which provides for 2% tax on imported textiles while it charges 10% on locally produced textiles and thus acts as a disincentive to local manufacturing.
The sponsor of the bill, Sabi Abdallah (Northern Niger) was pleased to attend the public hearing where stakeholders made very useful contributions that will enrich the legislation.
Nigeria needs to increase investment in other sectors to achieve diversification – Gov Bagudu