Professor Chukwuma Soludo started by saying how he accepted the invitation long before his appointment as a member of the Economic Advisory Council.
He then went on to mention the need to focus on the more narrow path which he revealed to be The Future.
He warned that in twenty years oil exploration would become history, adding that Nigeria will have a total population of four hundred million people twenty years time.
These people, he said, will need basic amenities and he questioned whether we were prepared as a nation to accommodate them.Hm
Prof. Soludo shared that, since 1960, Nigeria has had a meeting on restructuring with the intent to diversify the nation’s source of income across different sectors from Oil.
He declared that every government in Nigeria has had his own focus and ideas about how to change the economy but what we need to do, he revealed, was to change the underlying structure.
Without a strong financial institution, he said, it was impossible to have a strong privatised economy.
He went on to share that, when combined, the eighty-nine banks that were in Nigeria while he was a Central Bank Governor were not up to the bank ranking fourth in South Africa. To change a persistent economic structure, he proffered the solution of changing the financial institution.
Still discussing the economy, he explained that there was a need for a new post oil economy development. He emphasised that the NASS, Min of Justice, State and other stakeholders need to work.
“Nigeria would be among the top ten most populous country with lagos projected at eighty eight million people.” He said this pointed out that there was no sustainability planning and that there was a risk investment opportunity at the end.
After this, he mentioned that, the economic restructuring of the future requires the Nation of Nigeria to become competitive to accommodate the four hundred million people in a world without oil.
While admonishing that the dependency on revenue from oil has to be destroyed, he emphasised that poverty reduction and economic generation can only be achieved if we develop from an economy from four hundred billion to over five hundred trillion.
He backed up this statement by saying that we are required to grow and sustain a double digit growth for the next eighty years. He counselled that we need not just think outside the box but that we ought to think like there was no box at all.
According to him, “The easiest way to remain globally irrelevant as a nation is to keep exporting people who escape the nation to get out of the opium of poverty despite being highly illiterate.”
As he concluded, he shared that an alternative and even better future is possible, but it’s not an oil driven economy. It will be driven by human capital development. He then admonished the audience to focus on what’s good and not the negativity spread by others.
“We have no other country but NIgeria and we must resolve to make it work. A United State of Africa is possible with nigeria been its capital.”, were his last words.