By Christiana Ekpa
The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on National Planning and Economic Development, AbdulGaniyu Olododo has disclosed that COVID-19 pandemic has exposed a lot that Nigeria is under-prepared for any critical situations despite over 40 years of oil revenue Worth $80 trillion.
The Chairman disclosed this, at a public hearing on the:’ Need for Nigeria to Develop a Long Term Social and Economy Development and Need to Make Adequate Plans for a Post-Oil Economy in Nigeria’ at the National Assembly Complex, Abuja on Monday.
He said the diversificatlon of Nigeria’s economy is the only clear option that the nation has if it is to survive the current global economic uncertainty.
“Crude oil which for several years dominated Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings is currently undergoing price fluctuations as a result of changes in global realities and energy efficient innovations. This has forced us as a nation to not only have rethink but to also think outside the box.
“It is a depressing fact that our great country which has been blessed with intellectual, brilliant and gifted minds, excels greatly In coming up with eloquent and masterfully crafted development plans but ends up coming short during the implementation process. Examples are, Millennium development goals, Vision 2020, and vision 20-20-20 etc.
“The 9th Assembly through this Committee is willing and ready to work hand in hand with the Ministry of Budget and National Planning and other relevant sectors to improve the current ranking of Nigeria’s GDP as the 31st best economy in the world and 1st in Africa”.
The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba in his presentation, said the plans for a post-oil economy era in Nigeria broaches on constitution of thematic areas solely for Digital Economy, Bio Economy, Science, Technology and Innovation; Culture, Tourism, Creative Industry and Hospitality.
According to him, the New Plans captured the concentric diversification of the Nigerian economy both in the Oil and Non-oil revenue sources through initiatives encapsulated in relevant policies, programmes and projects of Government in the new plans.
He identified those programmes and projects as: “Accelerated, sustained, inclusive and private-sector led growth. Reform and investments that will help improve investment returns, particularly macro-structural measures and projects to enhance access to cost of physical infrastructure which is the most urgent area for actions.
“One of the approaches adopted in the preparation of the New Plans to consider the post oil economy in Nigeria, is the use of the Input-Output Approach.
“The Input-Output Approach recognises the need to focus on priority sectors that have high economlc potential that enhances the diversification from oil to non-oil economy, and promote sustainable economic growth.
“This implies that in order for growth to impact development meaningfully, it needs to have greater impact on Income, Employment, Welfare, and Poverty Reduction”.
Earlier while declaring the meeting open, Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila said at present, the country is entirely at the mercy of fluctuations in the global price of oil and gas at a time when it is increasingly evident that prices are on a sustained downward trend.
“The world is racing away from the extractive economic model towards a knowledge economy model that prizes technological innovation and the marketplace of ideas over heavy industry and trade in natural resources.