FOLLOWING the seeming failure of the federal government to improve the lot of its citizenryÂ inspite of its 50 years of oil exploration and production an Agro-based economy has however been identified as a sure way to bring succor to the ordinary Nigerian.
Speaking to newsmen in Lagos recently at the venue of the vision 2020 youth empowerment and restoration Initiative , Principal consultant of Lonadek Oil and Gas and a major stakeholder in the industry Dr. Ibilola Amao mentioned that this is so in view of the failure of the oil industry to cater for the needs of the average Nigerian in terms of job provision and so on.
â€œFirst and foremost I must say that Agro-based economies are the best economies because more jobs are created which brings about more wealth, whereas the oil and gas jobs have been very limited.
However the process of producing an excellent oil and gas professional vocation or entrepreneur produces an intelligent mind with strategic thinking and planning, an intellectual, and that is the type of mind weâ€™re trying to create.
An engineer can work in the communications industry, can work in the power, fabricating or manufacturing sector, so you cant really say that weâ€™re grooming people only for the oil and gas industry, the oil and gas industry will only absolve maybe 10 or 20 percent of these ones, the remaining 80 percent or thereabout would have to provide their services in other industries, but the point is that weâ€™re grooming the best for the future of this nation, and weâ€™re leveraging off where the bulk of our wealth comes from which is oil and gas, but because the industry is a zero tolerance, multi-billion dollar industry when you groom the best for the oil and gas industry, those who can not be absorbed by the industry would then provide quality services in the other areas of the economy.â€
According to her the country capitalizes on oil and gas and donâ€™t have enough working refineries even to produce the required finished product to satisfy the in-country demand, talk less of exporting finished products to the other markets.
Amao who describes the development as quite disgraceful said it is sad to find ourselves in the situation whereby we donâ€™t even have enough of the finished product in-country and we have to rely on the market forces as well as importation of finished products.
â€œThat really is a fundamental problem and it comes from the fact that these young children were not properly prepared to become the leaders of a country-focused industry.
Our oil and gas industry for the past fifty years have not proved to be a country-focused industry.Â Weâ€™ve actually worked to earn from the oil and gas export rather than satisfy the in-country demand and export finished products.
I also think the root-cause of our problem is that we have not strategically developed good leadership and when there is dearth of good leadership things would not be well and because weâ€™ve made mistakes over the past fifty years time is now for us to begin to rectify the root causes of these mistakes.
That is why we decided to groom the future leaders that will make Nigeria a priority, will be very Nigeria-focused, and will work to ensure that our natural resources are translated into finished products for the benefit of all, then work towards making wealth for Nigeria and satisfy the demand for energy resources, especially gas, for example rather than flaring gas it could be pipe and channel to power the turbines and industrialise our nation.Â She enthused.