From Magnus Eze, Abuja
Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu has said when on-going economic diversification doubles and redoubles, Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Nigeria will import crude oil.
Speaking when he played host to the Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers, led by its President, Prof. Emenike Wami, in his office yesterday, the minister urged Nigerians to prepare for a period when they would use up every petroleum product produced in the country because of rapid growth in the economy and would no longer export crude oil but depend on import.
Onu said that there was nothing wrong importing crude oil, adding that there are many countries that produce more crude oil than Nigeria that also import.
He gave an example of Indonesia which, according to him, used to export crude oil, but, as their economy grew, it got to a level where they needed all they could produce and now depend on import.
The minister explained that current efforts to diversify the economy was not because of the tumbling price of crude oil, but, that, it was the only option left for the country to attain greatness.
He enjoined the society to help in commercialising many of the research findings of agencies under the ministry.
“As engineers, you are in a position to ensure that many of the things that we import in Nigeria can be produced here in the country.
“We want to make it possible for a Nigerian who has a good idea to see that idea becomes either a product or service that will be available in the market place that is what this ministry is working towards, ” he stated.
Earlier, Prof. Wami canvassed for the restructuring of the research institutes to make them more result-oriented, adding that with the crash in oil price and shortfall in foreign exchange accruing to Nigeria, there was no alternative than to look inwards.