Days Of Oil As Super Forex Earner For Nigeria Numbered – Ekweremadu
SAN FRANCISCO, December 10, (THEWILL) – The Deputy Senate President, Chief Ike Ekweremadu, on Saturday declared that the days of oil as major foreign exchange, forex, earner for the country were numbered, if not over, urging Nigerians to look beyond oil to secure economic prosperity for the country.
According to a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr Uche Anichukwu, the DSP stated this at the one year anniversary celebration of the Brickhall School, Abuja, founded by former Chairman, Senate Committee on Education, Senator Joy Emodi.
Ekweremadu expressed concern that not so much attention was given to education as much as oil, which would soon become valueless, stressing that education for both the young and old is the way to go for sustainable growth of the country
According to him, “Our economy is in the throes of pain today because we thought the oil windfall would last forever.
“Even, while it lasted, we dismantled all the necessary structures, such as fiscal federalism, that would have encouraged competitive development and massive investment in human capital.
“Without prejudice to the place of petroleum resources in our national life, we must face the reality that the days of oil as super earner of foreign exchange are numbered, if not over.
“Those who still look up to petroleum resources for the revival of Nigeria's weather-beaten economy live in the past and are only building castles in the air.
“Prosperous global economies are knowledge-driven and the future only belongs to those who equip their citizens with quality education right from birth.
“This is a major reason most African nations, including Nigeria, are abjectly poor despite their rich oil and mineral resources.
“Meanwhile, many of their contemporaries, such as South Korea, with very little or no mineral resources, are among the world's leading economies.
“We must look beyond oil; and we must necessarily invest in education if we intend to make any headway. It is not a matter of choice, but imperative.''
The Deputy Senate President went on to urge government at all levels and public-spirited individuals to prioritise support for educational institutions through provision of adequate supervision, infrastructure, grants, donations, and tax rebates.
“A situation where government is only interested in collecting exorbitant taxes from privately-owned educational institutions, leaving them to fend for themselves in terms of access roads, security, water, power, and other social infrastructures is exploitative.
“The development is also unacceptable because it has virtually driven them beyond the reach of the poor.
“Governments should be able to provide subsidised lands and other support in exchange of specific percentage discount for the poor to access privately owned educational institutions,'' he said.