The British High Commissioner, Paul Arkwright has urged Nigeria to diversify its economy basically in the area of renewable energy in powering the country, saying that this is the optimal way to balance the current dip in international oil prices.
Arkwright noted that with oil revenue making up to 80 percent of the country’s budget, “Oil and gas remain extremely important to Nigeria as the main revenue earning for the government and it will stay like that for a longer while. I’m sure because of the reduction in oil price in the country, it has actually created a serious impact in the government revenue that is why the government needs to diversify the economy beyond oil and gas, diversifying the economy is a key, I’m not too sure if the price will rise or reduce,” he said.
He explained that for Nigeria to attract foreign investors in the oil and gas sector, the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB needs to be passed by the National Assembly, saying that the non-passage of the PIB has kept investors from doing business in Nigeria.
“To attract foreign investor in the country, the number one thing is to pass the PIB. The PIB has been in the National Assembly for more than seven years. it is time it is passed. It should be done with the cooperation of the international oil companies because they will bring huge amount of employment to this country. If this is done, you will see increased interest in investment in the oil and gas sector from international companies.
He further revealed that “Without power there can be no strengthening of the economy. Solar is a good example, and we are already helping the Nigeria government with that. But financing is very important and British banks are very well vast in financing power infrastructure. There is the need for large scale insurance, that’s where expertise can come in, good governance, partnership with the government is very important”