Why Nigeria must urgently diversify economy – Osinbajo shares reasons

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has stressed the need for Nigeria to aggressively diversify its economy, saying the advent of electric cars prove the nation might not be able to depend on oil for much longer.

Yemi-Osinbajo

According to him, there would be far less oil consumption, especially from Asian countries – Nigeria’s major oil market – as there is an estimate that electric cars would displace demand of 2 million barrels per day as early as 2023. “That could be equivalent to what created the drop in oil price in 2014,” he said.

Meanwhile, Nigeria is projected to expend about $143.8 billion on ICT by 2019, a vast sum that translates to over seven times the value of the 2016 national budget.

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Similarly, the country loses approximately $2.8 billion yearly from the importation of ICT goods and services, including $1 billion spent yearly on software imports, according to the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Isa Alim Ibrahim.

Declaring open the 2016 E-Nigeria Summit organised by NITDA yesterday in Abuja, Osinbajo noted that digital technology had created a situation where diversification would be forced upon the nation.

He said: “Our dependence on oil simply cannot continue. As the years go by, oil is becoming less important. Cars are the largest users of petrol. But technology is changing all that. And if we look at what is happening today, the birth of the electric car shows us that whether we like it or not, we may not be depending on oil for much longer.

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“Last year, electric vehicles grew by 60 per cent. Japan has today more electric charge points than petrol stations. Both Japan and China are aggressively investing and encouraging the use of electric cars, and both countries offers subsidies to buyers of electric cars.”

“Bloomberg’s analysis indicates that by 2040, long range electric cars will cost less that $20,000 dollars. According to the projection, 35 per cent of new vehicle sales worldwide will be electric cars.”

The Vice President observed that ICT is another innovation that has completely transformed every aspect of human life and experience. He said: “Whether we like it or not, there is a new reality. The implications are huge and profound, and they compel diversification and the creation of new opportunities in practically every aspect of human endeavour.”

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