Economic Diversification: Why Nigeria Must Get It Right This Time, By Don

President General Muhammadu Buhari has been called upon to diversify Nigeria’s economy with petroleum refining as a compass. The call from was made by Professor Austin Anigala of the Delta State University Abraka.
Anigala, in a chat with are correspondent in Warri said Nigeria must not get it wrong this time especially now that the new administration of President Buhari is trying to do away with some petroleum resources managers, adding that we must solve this lingering problem in our own way.
He said, the first step, is to rehabilitate our four refineries and reasoned that the previous administrations between 1999 and 2007 had more revenue from crude oil exploration and that if they had invested about five percent of this amounts in diversifying our economy, we would have had our four refineries back on stream and possibly constructed new once.
Instead, he said we concentrated on snake oil importation and paid phony price differentials in the name of subsidy-which actually is a racket with petroleum marketers and some government officials.
He said, Nigeria should diversify through vertical diversification policies in the direction of higher value added activities related to petroleum resources industries, adding that oil is natural resources as petroleum is considered a comparative advantage sector in our economy.
He said, when we refine; we are diversifying the economy from relying solely on crude exports, adding that Malaysia, Indonesia and Mexico have all diversified vertically using petroleum.
They used vertical policies to invest in refining and petrochemicals, to become an efficient and global company operating in more than 30 countries.
The NNPC, he said can also build local linkages with the rest of the economy using our local content Laws of build local capabilities in the downstream sector. Malaysia, he added discovered oil in the 1970, almost two decades after the discovery of crude in Nigeria.