By Isa Isawade
Senate President Ahmad Lawan on Wednesday said the global falling price of crude oil should be a challenge for Nigeria to devise other means of growing the nation’s economy.
According to a release signed and made available to press by his Special Assistant on Media, Mohammed Isa, Lawan said this while speaking to members of the Council For New Nigeria (CFNN) who visited him in his office on Wednesday.
He reportedly said with appropriate policies and programmes Nigeria had the potentials to grow without oil.
“We have a challenge of oil price that is not good right now, but what about countries without oil? There are countries that do not have oil and yet they are making progress.
“May be this is the time to start thinking of how to take people out of poverty in a country without oil, so that we will not say because the oil price has gone down we cannot do anything.
“This is the time for us to come up with strategies that will not make us to go back on our reliance on oil even if the price improves”, Lawan was quoted by the release.
He debunked the notion that Nigeria is a rich country because of its oil producing status, saying with the crude oil production costing US$30 per barrel and selling price of $35, the country only makes $5 per barrel.
He, however, expressed optimism that with the right policies and proper implementation the aim of the Federal Government to take 100 million people out of poverty in the next 10 years was achievable.
Lawan said the senate was always ready to partner with any group or organisation that was willing to support the Federal government to realise its ambition on poverty reduction and job creation.
He assured his guests of the senate’s readiness to support all relevant stakeholders to “identify specific projects and programmes that would be used in taking people out of poverty for proper coordination and strict implementation.”