President Muhammadu Buhari has urged Nigerians to be ready to embrace a Nigerian economy that is sustained without crude oil.
Buhari gave the advice when he received the immediate past Executive Director of Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mr. Segun Awolowo, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the president applauded Awolowo for using the NEPC to turn the fortunes of the Nigerian economy around, noting that he had “put our locally made products on the world map”.
Buhari said: “You have raised the profile of exports in Nigeria, and put our goods on the map internationally. Your efforts are highly commendable, and I’m glad that the Zero Oil plan birthed by this administration is here to stay.
“We must prepare for a Nigerian economy after oil, and make sure that the economy works for all. Our states and 774 local governments have roles to play.”
Awolowo thanked the president for showing confidence in him to lead NEPC towards reshaping Nigeria’s economy beyond oil.
“I am here to greet my President, and to thank him for showing confidence in me, and to also thank him for making the non-oil agenda his legacy,” he said, adding: “Six years ago, you challenged me and the NEPC, when you said Nigeria must begin to behave as if we have no more oil. That single statement became our mantra at NEPC and drove us to develop the Zero Oil Plan, which is now an integral part of national economic policy.”
Awolowo’s tenure as Executive Director ended in November 2021, after an eight-year period of two terms. He led the NEPC to define the Zero Oil Plan, Nigeria’s national roadmap to diversify from dependence on crude oil exports. The plan is in full implementation and is refocusing national attention to scale up production and exports of other products to generate foreign exchange, including; cocoa, palm oil, sesame, cotton, petrochemicals, fertilizer, gold, cashew, shea butter, amongst other products. The aim is to generate up to $30 billion annually from non-oil products within the next 10 years, which is approximately as much as Nigeria makes from crude oil today. This is also expected to generate at least half a million jobs a year, linked to export-related activities.
“The export revolution is in full swing, and this is because of the vision and support I received from Mr President, so I am here to say thank you,” said Mr Awolowo.
Source: The Nation