JOE EFFIONG, UYO
Akwa Ibom State governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel has told Nigerians to lay more emphasis on how to diversify the nation’s economy even as attempts to simplify the content of the complicated Petroleum Industry Act PIC) have become the nucleus of economic discussion in the country.
Speaking while officially declaring open “A Retreat on the Impact of Petroleum Industrial Act (PIA) 2021, on the Federation Account”, organised by the Crude Oil Monitoring Committee of the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) at Ibom Icon Hotels and Golf Resort, Uyo on Wednesday, Emmanuel said Nigeria warned Nigerians to depend less on oil.
The governor who was represented by his deputy, Mr Mises Ekpo, said; “We are aware of the determined efforts of the industrialized nations to wean themselves off oil, and place emphasis on other sources to power their economies.
“The current Russian war in Ukraine, has brought this issue back to the front burner of deliberations and we should begin to explore alternative sources that will deepen our foreign earnings.”
He however lamented that in spite of Akwa Ibom’s status
as a leading producer of petroleum in the nation, for which “we really have not much to show, we have diversified our local economy, placing emphsizes on Aviation development , Agriculture, ICT, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) and Tourism.”
“We believe that our coconut refinery, which we commissioned recently will increase our foreign earnings and aid our developmental strides.
“We will continue to embark on more life- touching projects financed by both what we get from the Federation Account and from other sources of revenue from our investments in other critical sectors of our economy.”
Umaru Faruk Abdullahi, acting chairman of RMAFC, in his welcome address, said that the oil and gas industry is very important to the country and has a major impact on the Nigerian economy and though it contributes less than 10% to the country’s GDP, but accounts for over 89% of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings and 60% of its total income.” Abdullahi said.
While thanking the present administration for the courageous effort of bringing the Act to being after a long period, the RMAFC boss said the commission was organising the retreat in order to engage the various stakeholders and address some of the grey areas in the Act to ensure seamless implementation of the PIA so as to optimise federation revenue. ENDS.
” As a result, any adverse change in the industry will have a major and longterm impact on the federation revenue.
“This may be the reason why various governments in the past and present have concentrated on the sector despite various discussions on the need to diversity the Nigerian economy