21 August 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Nigeria Government has announced that it is making preparations for the post-crude oil era, even as it urged Nigerians that the time invest in other sectors of the economy is now to avoid being too late.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, who stated this at the First Science and Technology Innovation Sensitisation Forum and Open House, in Abuja, noted that the post-crude oil era would soon come, saying Nigeria had to pull its economy away from being dependent on commodities only.
He said that it had become necessary for the country to diversify its economy, prior to the time the crude oil would either lose its major economic relevance or dry up, to avoid associated consequences.
Onu reaffirmed the call for indigenous technology capacity and reiterated that moving away from a resource-based to a knowledge-based and innovation-driven economy would help the country bridge existing technology gap.
He said, “The challenge facing Nigeria at this stage of her development demands that we begin today, not tomorrow, to prepare her for the post crude oil era that is not too far away.
“Nigeria must move her economic away from being dependent on mere commodities. She must move in the direction of diversification, such that when the demand for our crude oil drops in the global market, she can absorb the shock and avoid experiencing the sort of recession we witnessed in recent times which adversely affected our economy.”
Citing Europe and other parts of the industrialised world as some of those currently preparing for the post crude oil era, the minister said Nigeria must not be left behind in this regard, insisting the country had to follow suit by ensuring that immediate measures were put in place.
Such measures, he added, would fast track the role science, technology and innovation as the new driver of the nation’s economic development process.
Speaking further, Onu stated, “The law of demand and supply should guide our thinking since it will become more difficult to find a suitable global market for our crude oil from those who may no longer need it in future.
“The way out is for us to embrace new measures that will create enduring and sustainable alternatives in science, technology and innovation as the tool for Nigeria’s future greatness, especially in a fast-changing world.”
The minister informed the forum that the new National Strategy for Competitiveness in Raw Materials and Products Development in Nigeria had been conceptualised.
He added the strategy was aimed at addressing the challenge of developing and implementing effective policies and strategies capable of stimulating economic diversification and promotes industrialisation irreversibly.
Onu sought the support of the forum for the novel Road Map for science, technology and innovation as a critical instrument that could sufficiently equip the nation’s economy.