THE OLD SCHOOL THINKING OF NIGERIAN LEADERS
What can we do to break our dependence on oil for foreign exchange earnings bearing in mind that oil prices are falling fast? The demand for oil is diminishing all over the world. Developed countries are finding alternative sources of energy. The Nigerian oil reserve is not indispensable; we are running out of oil. How can Nigeria keep on earning foreign currency from other sources?
1. So many states in Nigeria are trying to go back to the old foreign exchange earners as I mentioned in the previous parts: palm oil, groundnut, cocoa, timber etc. many states are making a lot of effort to revamp these industries for foreign exchange earnings.
2. The old export we had that earned us foreign currencies are mainly natural resource based, oil, palm oil, cotton, timber, etc. I call them old school products. There are many raw materials in Nigeria apart from oil that could be exported for foreign earnings. Many of our government ministers are still hoping to use raw materials to get us more foreign currency. I believe this is old school thinking.
3. The only case where we could use raw materials as foreign exchange earners, is only as a temporarily relief measure in transitioning from oil to other future produce.
4. Raw materials like uranium, columbite, tin, coal, and textile could earn us as much as we are presently earning from oil.
My personal opinion is that any form of reversion to raw materials as a means of foreign exchange earnings for the country is counterproductive. I think the way to go is to encourage our young entrepreneurs to produce products that will be better than other country’s produce. The 21st century world would no longer depend on natural resources. It is indeed old school.
Let me therefore suggest what I believe could be the real answer to our foreign exchange earnings going forward.
To be continued tomorrow…
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, CHURCH AND NATION
By Pastor Sunday Adelaja.