By Chioma GABRIEL, Deputy Editor
Nigeria has been urged to gear up for the post-oil era if the country wants to continue to remain relevant in the scheme of things globally.
This view was expressed at a lecture delivered recently in Lagos and organised by Leadership Award Watch in collaboration with Science Medicine Research Institute based in the United States, tagged Nigeria in a post-oil era. In the lecture series delivered by a team of American-based Nigerian professionals, with representatives ofÂ government in attendance, Nigeria is reminded that these are the last days of the oil-era and thereforeÂ the people should be more creative in preparation for the post-oil Nigeria.
In his lecture, the guest-speaker, Dr. Alphonsus Ekwerike said Nigeria has a lot of other things to offer world outside oil.
â€œNigeria in a post-oil regime will be a vibrant era because a door would be opened for the people to go into innovations. Oil is not the only mineral that we have in the country. We have other minerals. We have solid minerals.
We even have something greater than oil that this country can sell to the world. And besides, if the oil problems come and the world refuses to buy oil, we can innovate cars that will be use our own oil.
â€œWe are still in the era of oil but at the end of it because things that supersede oil are coming. So, we have to be careful. Already, something is happening in America. They have hydro-powered cars, they have solar cars, they have cars and engines that do not use oil but electricity. So, what we need now is an innovation. And this is not the innovation that one person will do. But innovations that the people of this country will do. Nigeria is endowed with creative people.
Nigerians are very resourceful andÂ need to be guided .innovate.
Instead of much contracting without anything, let there be innovations, scholarships, trainings so that the country can become relevant in the post-oil era.
â€œSo many things are happening out there and Nigeria needs to reposition herself to be relevant in the world in the post oil era which is coming to the end because out there, a lot of experiments are going on and alternatives to oil are being researched.
Nigeria should gear up for that era when our economy should begin to depend on other minerals other than oil. We should go for innovative farming and pay more attention to other mineral resources which could sustain the economy so that in the absence of oil, our economy would still remain vibrant as it was in the pre-oil era and Nigeria will still remain relevant in the scheme of things.â€
Dr. Ekwerike further urged Nigerians to think more Nigerian and lamented the desperation which Nigerians seek the American visa lottery.
â€œI am based in the United States and I know what is obtainable. So, my plea is that before anybody begins to desire the immigration visa, he should ask questions first from those who are based there so they would tell them the real situation of things.
I am not saying Nigerians should not go for the visa lottery but home is haven and greater opportunities abound here than outside because a lot of Nigerians out there are suffering. We should change our mentality and make this country greater.â€