30 October 2014,Abuja – Minister of National Planning, Dr. Abubakar Sulaiman, has described the fall in the international price of oil as a blessing in disguise for Nigeria, assuring that the development would impact positively on the country’s economy.
The minister, who is also Deputy Chairman, National Planning Commission, gave the assurance at an institutional lecture for Block 3 participants of the National Defence College, NDC, in Abuja in a paper, entitled National Planning and Vision 20:2020: An Assessment.
He said the drop in the price of oil would challenge the leadership of the country to bring out its best to break even, stressing that Nigeria was equal to the task.
Sulaiman said: “All we need do is explore other areas. The Customs has surpassed its target, same with FIRS. We need to block all loopholes which are what we are doing as a government.
“We can do without oil to survive, because there are nations who do not have oil and are pretty surviving. So, what are we talking about?
“The present administration is one that has foresight and had long prepared for this through its policies and programmes in various sectors, agriculture inclusive.
“Government is diversifying. It will affect us, but not to the extent people think. There are areas the country can still explore.
“It is a challenge. We should not be lazy; we should prepare for the future. Oil will not be there eternally.”
Meanwhile, the minister has blamed Nigeria’s multifarious challenges on the peoples’ disconnect from their culture.