Finally, President Muhammadu Buhari has confessed it to be true that the rapid fall in the price of oil has thrown the country is into state of disorganization as a result of the fact that we depended on crude oil for a long time as a single source of income.
According to a statement credited to his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, Buhari made this disclosure on Tuesday as he received a three-man team of British parliamentary members at the Presidential Villa in Abuja. The group which was led by Honourable Chi Onwurah, Nigerian-born MP for Newcastle also included Rt. Hon. Ms. Kate Osamor and Rt. Hon. Laurence Robertson.
Among those who received the team with the president were: Rt. Hon. Ms. Kate Osamor, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Geoffrey Enyeama and Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari.
President Muhammadu Buhari who bemoaned the mishap of the country as the price of oil keeps on dropping and the sudden drop in the value of naira also gave an assurance that his government will raise Nigeria up from this present ruins. He also pleaded that all Nigerians both at home and in the diaspora should join hands in rebuilding Nigeria. The President was reported to have said to the Brishish visitors,
“Nigeria has found herself in a phase of development which is not a very welcome one. We are disorganized because we relied on mono-economic product for too long, and now that oil price is down, we have to go back to agriculture and solid minerals.
“Tin, columbite, cocoa, groundnut, and others, used to be the basis of our economy, but then, oil came, and everybody began to look for cheap money. Now, we need to start all over again.”
In her speech, Onwurah reported that the purpose of the team coming to Nigeria was “to promote positive engagement between Nigeria and the UK, since we are stronger when we build on ties of the past.”
Additionally, the MP said that the major interest of the team was how the Diaspora can lend their support to the economic progress of Nigeria, as well as promotion of trade and diversification of the economy.
This visit is a timely one as the Nigerian government is doing everything possible to create other channels of revenue generation by encouraging the production and patronage of Nigerian-made goods. To achieve this, the government has a lot to do especially in the area of giving local manufacturing companies all the support they need especially financially, in order for them to produce goods that are of high quality and can survive the existing competition in the outside world.
There is also an urgent necessity to resurrect most manufacturing companies that have been in coma for years, this includes many textile industries in the country. During a familiarization tour of some textile producing factories in Kaduna prior to the 2015 election, the present governor of the state, Nasir El-Rufai, gave an assurance that once the All Progressive Congress takes over power, There will be a revival of all the collapsed textile factories in the state as well as other areas of the country. We are yet to hear any news about that!
The major challenges facing the manufacturing sector in general according to the leadership of the textile workers are infrastructural inadequacy, electricity supply, smuggling, counterfeiting and faking raw materials, as well as lack of local patronage, among others. If this issues are tackled by President Muhammadu Buhari-led government in addition to developing the agricultural sector and maximising other existing natural resources, then our economy will definitely have a boost.