How Nigeria can avert economic collapse, by Okonjo-Iweala

How Nigeria can avert economic collapse, by Okonjo-Iweala

The Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on Monday highlighted steps Nigeria should take to avert economic collapse.

The steps include diversification of the economy, bold economic reforms and pursuit of technological development.

She warned that the country risked economic doom in no distant future, if it failed to immediately embark on diversification from oil to other sources of survival.

Painting a gloomy picture of fossil oil in the future, the former  Finance Minister urged speed, stressing that delay could  be dangerous.

She stressed: “We need to have a game plan to be able to escape the consequence of a monolithic economy in a fast-changing world.”

She said the diversification of the economy was one of the issues she discussed with the President

According to her, Nigeria should tap into renewable energies, since some countries   have already set   timelines to end the use of vehicles and equipment operated with fossil fuel.

She spoke with reporters, shortly after visiting President Muhammadu Buhari to thank him and Nigerians for their roles in her  emergence as the head of the WTO.

The former World Bank chief hailed the feat achieved by the Dangote Group.

Specifically, Okonjo-Iweala mentioned Norway which will from 2030  no longer have petrol-powered cars plying its roads.

She said:  “We have to start transitioning this Nigerian economy into other areas, where we will be able to create jobs and earn foreign exchange.

“As a country, we really have to go into strong reflection;  we need to have a period of transition and how we are going to use it. We have to start thinking about how we transition from fossil fuels and I’m really worried about that. We need to have a game plan to get there.,

We also have to start looking at the horizon where many countries are now moving to electric cars and many developed countries where cars are manufactured or not, have said that from 2025, I think Norway said from 2030 and on, they are banning any cars that use petrol. Diesel is already out.

“If we don’t start, we will find ourselves at the end of a couple of decades with no way of being able to make an additional foreign exchange for some of the products we need.”

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