Economist seeks long-term national plan on economic diversification

An economist, Prof. Sheriffdeen Tella, has urged the Federal Government to institute a long-term national plan that will strengthen economic diversification to enhance revenue generation.

Tella, Professor of Economics, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun, said this ìn an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) while reacting to the crash in crude oil price.

NAN reports that President Muhammadu Buhari recently set up a committee to review the 2020 budget crude oil benchmark.

This is coming after the president held an emergency meeting over the falling crude oil price.

He stated that the current global and economic realities had called for an urgent need for long-term national plan that would highlight path to economic diversification.

“It is high time we institute long term national plan that would highlight path to economic diversification, path to national saving in terms of the Sovereign Wealth Fund and path to national consumption such that we consume what we produce.

“The crash of the oil price and the resulting panic once again tells us how fragile the Nigerian economy is without diversification of production and sources of income.

“Unfortunately, both sovereign wealth fund and excess crude account that are supposed to provide buffer for the revenue shortfall are down.

“So, what is to be done is to re-priotise the projects in the budget for execution.

“If the present global economic problem is short lived or temporary, suspended projects can be resuscitated,’’ Tella said.

Commenting on the committee set up by the president to review the 2020 budget, Tella said the committee was unnecessary.

He noted that the President’s economic team was supposed to be given the task of the present committee.

“The outcome of their output could be subjected to discussion at Executive committee for eventual adoption,’’ he added.


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