By Seyifunmi Odunuga
IBADAN – The Ajia Balogun of Olubadanland, Oloye Adegboyega Taofeek Adegoke has declared that it is dangerous for Nigeria to rely on oil and gas as the only source of its revenue.
Ajia Balogun disclosed this to journalists in Ibadan at the weekend, charged President Muhammadu Buhari, state Governors and those at the local level to diversify Nigerian economy in order to avoid recession in the future.
Adegoke, while speaking during the commissioning of a hospitality business in Ibadan – “Channel 8 Premium Hotel”, located at Bodija, Ibadan, insisted that the time has come for Nigeria to think outside the box and diversify the economy.
Present at the event were a former governor of Oyo State, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, Chairman Senate Committee on Local content, Senator Teslim Folarin, a Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Adebisi Olopoeniyan and the wife of late Ibadan strong politician, Alhaja Bose Adelabu.
Others are former Speaker Oyo State House of Assembly, Hon Adeolu Adeleke, Barrister Lowo Obisesan, Mr. Yinka Taiwo, Hon Gbade Oduola, Mogaji Jelili Adanla, Alhaji Lukman Gbadamosi, Primate Olasoji Bakare, Chief Wale Aribi, Hon Kehinde Subair, Hon. Adigun Abiodun, Mogaji Aboderin and Hon Bimbo Adepoju among a host of others.
The Executive Director, OES Energy Services Limited, Adegoke, while speaking further maintained that the unemployment rate which is alarming would be reduced to the barest minimum if the federal, state and local governments commenced the process of economic diversification.
He concluded that one of the gains of economic diversification is generation of employment opportunities.
His words, “I am also using this opportunity to call on governments, that there is actually a need to diversify our revenue base. Relying on oil and gas as the main source of our revenue is bad and that is what is hunting us. And look at naira exchange rate, is about 465 naira to a dollar, it used to be one to one before and look at it today.
“And Nigeria that is a mono-economy, there will be inflation, the cost of the goods you are buying from overseas will increase because you will use dollar to buy it, so now that you are buying at 465 naira, you can imagine what the landing cost will be.”
He continued, “Because, we are not producing anything, that is why prices of goods will skyrocketed. That will lead to inflation. By the time we create another revenue base, there is no way it will not reduce unemployment rate in the country.”
Adegoke said further that he wants to encourage everyone of us, not just the governments, but every individual to diversify our revenue base.
“What we are doing today is just part of what we have been preaching in the past that there is a need to diversify our revenue base in Nigeria, the need to create employment. We have to think outside the box.
“Diversify Nigerian economy into hospitality, tourism sector, one will create jobs, so if every individual in Nigeria can diversify into one or two other things apart from your primary source of economy, there is no way that will not create jobs. It will reduce the rate of unemployment,” Adegoke posited.