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The Handwriting on the Wall: A Curious Case of Diversifying Nigeria’s Economy Now!

A leaking red oil barrel. Image Credit: Enerybook.info

A leaking red oil barrel. Image Credit: Enerybook.info

Moving with trends is a necessity in this fast paced global village we live in. In some parts of the world, libraries are being shut partly because of the obsolescence of print and then, the clamour to ‘go green’. The email has made the once stoic ambience of the post office a matter of nostalgia. Things have changed and are changing at break-neck speed. Mobile phones are smarter and social media are the new shapers of culture and government.

Maresh Ambani, Asia’s second richest man and Chairman of Reliance Industries, India recently threw up the possibility of yet another trend that could alter Nigeria forever. The fact that the largest buyer of Nigerian oil, the United States of America could attain self-sufficiency in energy within the next 5-7 years calls for deep concern.

The subject of America’s energy independence had long been reduced to a component for presidential electioneering until the attacks of September 11, 2001. Today, America is closer to attaining a solar renewable energy alternative that could sink Nigeria’s composite revenue by almost 85 percent.

Like Facebook, Google and Twitter, an American renewable energy revolution will be embraced across the world, leaving Nigeria with fewer and fewer buyers of its oil by 2020.

Nigerian politicians now have no other option than to diversify from our current mainstay of oil, bearing in mind the country’s teeming population and the catastrophic repercussions of failing to do so.

Nigeria is arguably the resource-richest country in the world despite the country’s largely neglected agricultural sector, with deposits of Columbite, Iron Ore, Tin Ore and Limestone among many other minerals, in large quantities.

Only the will to act and act fast could help save Nigeria from its current oil dependence, and from a lull reminiscent of the glut of the 80s that sent the country a borrowing .When the renewable energy alternative kicks in by the end of the decade, it would no longer be oil business as usual.

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Nehikhare Omotayo Igbinijesu is an Economist, Poet, and Social Entrepreneur. 'He is the author of The Code: A Simple Story About Raising Great Women' and 'Marriage: 12 Questions You Need To Ask Before You Say, “I Do”'. He lives in Lagos with his wife, Akudo and two sons. He is Co-founder of Stuffsilos.com, a motivational resources company based in Lagos. You can email him via nehijesu [at] yahoo.co.uk

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