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Nigeria still needs oil to diversify economy – Osinbajo

By The Citizen
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The Federal Government, on Monday, said Nigeria's chances of deriving maximum benefits from the petroleum industry was narrowing, going by global energy trends.

It also said despite the dwindling chances of optimal benefits, Nigeria still needed the oil sector in its quest to diversify the economy of the country away from oil.

According to the Federal Government, 'as we move to diversify our economy, we are acutely aware that we need oil to get out of oil. Yet our window of opportunity to benefit maximally from the petroleum industry is narrowing.'

The vice president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, stated this in Abuja, while speaking at the presentation of three books (Compedium of Oil and Gas Cases in Nigeria; Legal issues in the Nigerian Petroleum Industry and The Petroleum Industry Bill: Getting to the Yes) authored by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu.

He stressed that the Federal Government had to deal frontally with the critical issues bedeviling the sector, such as the deregulation of the downstream sector and its continuing challenges, with a view to ensuring that the country derived the maximum benefits from the petroleum sector in spite of the global challenges.

Professor Osinbajo then lamented that the country's oil and gas laws and policy were bereft of quality materials, pointing out that the three books authored by Kachikwu would help fill that lacuna.

Earlier, Dr Kachikwu had said Nigeria was going through difficult times, where thinking outside the box was absolutely key for the country to succeed as a nation.