Sunday, October 19, 2008

Nigeria needs to depend less on oil

By Our Reader
Published: Sunday, 19 Oct 2008

Has anyone ever imagined Nigeria without oil? Perhaps, it has not crossed our minds that one day, we might sell our last drop.

In the world of Information Technology, there is what is called disaster recovery strategy. Corporations spend millions of dollars to build backup sites just in case their production site is consumed by any natural or man-made disaster. It is not that these corporations have money to waste by replicating their infrastructure but it is a very critical business need. Liking Nigeria to a Corporation, what is our own disaster recovery strategy in case our oil wells dry up or some disasters make it impossible for production to go on for a whole year? I do believe that we have technocrats in the cabinet of Umaru Yar’Adua and it is high time they began to put this into perspective.
A particular Asian country, Malaysia I guess, took oil fruit from Nigeria to cultivate in their country. Today, they are playing big in palm oil and other associated by-products of palm fruit. United Arab Emirate was a desert before. I even learnt they had come to Nigeria to borrow before. Presently, a lot of us fight for Emirate‘s ticket to fly to Dubai for vacation and shopping. How did they make it happen? Some smart and serious minded guys in that country came together and strategised on how to move their country forward.
What has happened to agriculture in Nigeria? What have become of our groundnut pyramids in the North and the cocoa in the West? We have all abandoned these to local farmers with occasional distribution of fertilizers to them. We are all in the mad chase for oil.

Nigeria is abundantly blessed with natural endownments – the Olumo rock, the water falls, Yankari games reserve and others. How far have we gone to develop tourism? Maybe we should just shut down all oil wells and see if there is any backup. Of course I know this position might sound sarcastic and bizarre but it will open our eyes to the truth.

Barth Okonkwo,
Adeola Hopewell, Victoria Island,


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