- Nigeria spends a staggering amount of money on imported items
- The Muhammadu Buhari administration has identified economic diversification as one of its cardinal principles
- The government's policy seem not to go down well with some people
The present administration's policy of economic diversification has not gone down well with some Nigerians.
One of such Nigerians is Chief Bernard Agai, a notable political figure in Bayelsa and Rivers states having held various political offices in both states.
In an interview with New Telegraph, Chief Agai said the economic diversification policy of the present administration is a northern agenda.
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His words: “We are talking of economic diversification, that is nonsense, it is a northern agenda. Even under international economics, you specialise on areas where you have comparative advantage.
“In Bayelsa what do we have as comparative advantage? It is our crude oil in the Niger Delta. Now you are asking us to go to farm but God knows why he brought us to this amphibious environment, both water and land.
“Some people have vast land, they can farm well, but here, even the soil is polluted. And they want us to go into economic diversification. The crude oil is our property.
“Even in America, local governments control oil, while in Nigeria our own oil belonging to the Ijaw people is a national cake.
“We have other minerals like granite in the North, the owners said it is in their backyard, same way the crude oil is in our backyard. They just break these granite, fill the lorry and sell it off. It is great cheating.”
Chief Agai canvassed for full control of resources by the state and suggested that the states to pay revenue to the federal government.
“Let every state pay revenue to the federal government. If you know you cannot maintain a state, you can join another one. But they use our own oil money to diversify their economy,” he added.
Meanwhile, the minister of state for industry, trade and investment, Mrs. Aisha Abubakar, has said about N7 trillion was spent on the importation of consumables and household items into Nigeria in 2015.
Abubakar made the comment in her address in Kano on Friday, July 14, at a stakeholders meeting on "Buy Made-in- Nigeria Products" organised by her ministry in collaboration with the federal ministry of information and culture.
Watch the NAIJ.com TV video report of the newly reopened Nyanya bus station in Abuja after it was bombed by Boko Haram: