Coalition of Civil Society Group, COSG, has advised the Buhari led Federal Government to invest heavily in the solid mineral sector in order to boost the economy of the country.
It added that the sector, if properly harnessed, is capable of generating more revenue for the government than crude oil.
President of the group, Mr. Etuk Bassey Williams who stated this yesterday in Abuja during an advocacy workshop on the economic implications of recent CBN policies with the theme ‘Understanding the Economic Implications of the new CBN Monetary Policies and the Role of Civil Society in Policy Advocacy and Economic Development,’ appreciated the steps so far taken by the Buhari led federal government in diversifying the nation’s economy.
He, however, explained that the present steps might not be enough to tackle the enormous economic challenges presently being faced by the country and strongly recommended that government should take conscious, sincere and pragmatic steps in diversifying the economy with emphasis on the solid mineral sector, which if properly harnessed, is capable of generating in excess of what is currently being generated from crude oil.
“In addition, priority should be given to the growth of small and medium scale industries, which remain the engine of growth of any economy,” he said.
He commended the efforts of the present administration for being able to respond to the present economic challenges by reducing the over bloated cost of governance and plugging leakages through which monies were hitherto being siphoned.
He said that the country is experiencing another critical stage in her national history where a very sharp decline in oil revenue after a period of boom that saw price of crude oil rose to over a $100 per barrel in the international market, “having failed as a country to learn from past mistakes due to our inability to diversify the country’s economy, ensure savings and prudent management of resources, Nigeria is once more grappling with its share of the aftermath of the oil price decline.”
Also speaking, director of finance and marketing department of the CBN, Mr. Emmanuel Okeji, who represented the CBN governor at the event explain that the total failure of the oil sector led to the urgent decision of the government to diversify its economy to other sectors to raise revenue for the country.
He said that the federal government through the Central Bank of Nigeria has decided to give the agricultural sector the needed support to boost the nation’s economy, adding that the government will create an enabling environment for the private sector which has the capacity to move the nation forward, “the job of the government is to provide the necessary infrastructure and enabling laws for the private sector to operate.”
Both speakers called on all stakeholders to use the opportunity of the workshop to support the present administration in propagating policies that will drive genuine change.

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