A former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof. Charles Soludo, has said that the current slide in oil price was an opportunity for the nation to explore other vital sectors of the economy.
He said, “every disappointment is a blessing and I see the drop in the price of oil as a great opportunity for the country to discover and harness its rich potential.’’
Soludo stated this at the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the creation of Delta on Friday in Asaba.
He said that though Nigeria was under excruciating pains, there was hope for the citizenry.
Soludo, who is currently the President of African Heritage Institution, Enugu, warned that “the country cannot have competitive economy when there are political and security challenges.’’
According to him, the rate of poverty is high, militancy and kidnapping is on the increase while the current recession faced by the country is self-inflicting.
While commending the Federal Government for fixing the exchange rate, he noted that the parallel market rate was over-shooting the market.
The former apex governor warned that if the exchange rate continued to over-shoot, it would scare investors from coming to invest in the country.
He advised the government to fight insurgency completely and maintain peace, saying that this would go a long way in reviving the economy of the nation.
He added that the Federal Government should allow states to have control of their resources and pay some percentage to it.
According to him, this will also help to stabilize the economy of the nation as well as reduce the challenges of insurgency in the country.
While commending Delta for its anniversary, Soludo urged the state government to develop its waterways as well as its coastal communities for tourism.
“Holidays abroad is now becoming too expensive and if Delta takes advantage of its coastal areas and develop it, it will attract tourists to the state,’’ he said.
Soludo also urged the state government to modernize its seaports and industrial parks, adding that this would go a long way in opening up business activities in the South-South region.
“Modernising the seaports and the industrial parks will also make Delta state an international state as well as increase trade investment.
“It will also help to serve as an alternative to Lagos state, which is an economic hub of the nation,’’ he added.