The Federal Government has said that it would explore other sectors, including agriculture and tax, to mitigate the impact of drop in oil prices on the nation’s economy. This is contained in a statement in Abuja by Mr Abdulrahman Adbulrauf, the Special Assistant on Media to the Minister of National Planning, Dr Abubakar Sulaiman.
According to the statement, the minister stated this in a lecture he presented when Block 3 Participants, National Defence College (NDC), visited the ministry in Abuja. The paper was titled: “National Planning and Vision 20:2020: An Assessment.”
Price of crude oil in the international market has dropped to less than 85 dollars per barrel from about 105 dollars per barrel. Suleiman said that the fall in the oil price could turn out to be a blessing to Nigeria.
According to him, the development will rather impact positively on the country’s economy. “On the question regarding the drop in the international price of oil, we are up to the challenge as a country. It will simply bring out the resilience in us as a nation. All we need to do is just explore other areas. The Nigeria Customs Service has surpassed its target; same with Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS),’’ he said.
He said that there was the need to block all loopholes, adding that the government was already doing that.
“We can do without oil to survive because there are nations who do not have oil and are pretty surviving. So, what are we talking,” the minister said. He disclosed that the present administration had long prepared for situations as was being currently experienced “through its policies and programmes in various sectors, agriculture inclusive”.
“Government is diversifying; yes, it will affect us but not to the extent people think. There are areas the country can still exploit. It is just a challenge that as a people we should not be lazy but get prepared for the future. Oil will not be there eternally,’’ Sulaiman said