Professor Ofiafoh Eiya, a Professor of Accounting and Taxation, University of Benin, Benin City, has called for the diversification of the economy to agriculture and solid minerals for sustainable national growth and development.
Prof. Eiya, who was speaking with newsmen in Benin City, said the era of sole reliance on crude oil as the nation’s major economic sustenance was taking the country to a bleak future.
According to Eiya, Nigeria had vast land, huge labour and large solid mineral deposits, and needed only to import machinery to process the agricultural produce and solid minerals.
He advised each of the local government areas to identify two crops it had comparative advantage and deploy 50% of its revenue from the Federation Account into the chosen or preferred sector.
“Such diversification policy will no doubt boast employment and productivity as well as enhancing national development,” he said.
On the nation’s debt profile, Eiya cautioned the three tiers of government to be wary of borrowing for recurrent expenditure.
According to him, nations could borrow for capital expenditure to increase its productive capacity.
While emphasising that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), through its role as the lender of last resort, could create money, he warned against the upward trend in the nation’s debt profile.
On the country’s prevailing insecurity, the academic noted that peace was necessary for development hence the Armed Forces and police should put in efforts to arrest and punish the criminals and bandits in the society.