OSOGBO – Mr Najeem Salaam, the Speaker of Osun House of Assembly, on Thursday said the current drop in the price of crude at the international market posed a threat to the nation`s economy.
Salaam, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Osogbo, said government, as a matter of urgency, should diversify the economy for it to survive the looming economy crisis.
The Speaker said the fall in the price of crude oil had contributed to reduction in federal allocations, causing many states to find it difficult to pay their workers.
Salaam said government must intensify investment efforts in agriculture and other non-oil sectors to prevent the economy from crashing.
He said that agriculture, which supposed to be one of the main sources of income for government, had been neglected due to the discovery of oil.
Salaam said government, at all levels, must intensify efforts in agriculture, especially by making necessary inputs available to farmers and creating markets for their produce.
“I don’t know how we can survive this because relying on oil as the only source of income is abnormal.
“It is sad that our economy is largely dependent on oil and due to the fall in price, our economy is being threatened.
“This problem has been in existence for a very long time and nobody cares about it; and now, the reality is about to be dawn on us.
“It is not too late for us to diversify the economy and government can start doing that now before the situation is beyond control.
“The groundnut pyramid in the north, cocoa plantation in the west and the palm oil in the east and other farm products can be revived to sustain our economy in the face of crisis,” Salaam said.(NAN