By Gabriel Olawale

The Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has said that Nigeria’s economic diversification is long overdue as the world transcends carbon economy.

A Member of the Initiative Board, Professor Damilola Olawuyi, who made this known to newsmen recently via zoom, stated that Nigeria is blessed and endowed beyond oil and Gas considering its mineral deposits in different parts of the country especially the Southwest.

President Muhammad Buhari recently appointed him as a representative of the Southwest on the Board.

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Afe Babalola University highlighted gold, marble, limestone, bitumen and many as several mineral resources that could be maximally tapped into for the development of the country.

“I support the current effort by NEITI and other stakeholders to ensure that we diversify in an era where the whole world is moving beyond the carbon economy.

“It is about time for us to diversify and we have very good reason to do so.

“Nigeria is really blessed especially in the Southwest where we have several mineral resources such as gold, marble, limestone, bitumen and so on. We are well blessed and endowed beyond oil and gas in Nigeria.

“That is what we have been advocating over the years that Nigeria is not just oil and gas economy but a mineral economy with some oil and gas.” He said.

Meanwhile, The Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) revealed that efforts would be exerted to ensure that Nigeria elevates its status from being a mono economic product to a diversified one.

Professor Damilola explained that he would meeting the Commissioners in the Southwest, questioning them on challenges confronted with in harnessing the potentials of the resources in their various ambits.

“And the question is why are we not tapping into these resources for years and that is the question I will be asking when I start my engagement with all the commissioners in the Southwest.

“I would like to know what the commissioners are doing in order to know how we can support them. I know some states are making progress and I would like to see how we can help them.

“So, expect me as the representative of the Southwest to have workshops, town hall meetings, etc. Also, I will be engaging with universities as well to see how we can promote credible research that can support mineral development in southwest states.” Professor Damilola stated.

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