Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki has warned that it is dangerous for states and the federal government to continue relying on oil revenue.
Obaseki who made the position known on Monday while addressing journalists added that the time to diversify the economy is now as revenue from oil is no longer sustainable.
The Governor went down history lane to recall that before oil was discovered in Nigeria, the regional governments all had other ways of making money but after oil was discovered, all the other revenue sources were abandoned.
He, therefore, urged that the time to revisit other resources and turn them into revenue-making streams so as to increase non-oil revenue is now.
“Before the Civil War, we had no crude oil: The regions relied on the resources that they had and the government was run based on taxation, which was derived from the regions and production, particularly agricultural production in the regions.
“In the last 40 years or so, crude oil came and replaced those economic activities and earnings. So, we now run a federation relying almost exclusively on crude oil.
“Solely relying on crude oil income is unsustainable; the time for diversification is now,” the Governor said in a series of tweets from his Twitter account.
City News Nigeria recalls Obaseki has been in the news recently after he accused the federal government of printing N60 billion as part of the allocation for March.
Speaking at the Edo state transition committee stakeholders engagement, the governor said Nigeria is in huge financial trouble.
According to Obaseki, the economy is no longer what it used to be due to the rising debt profile is worrisome as dependence on crude oil is no longer sustainable.
But the federal government through the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, and the CBN has denied claims by the governor, but Obaseki insisted and urged the government to tell Nigerians the truth.
Meanwhile, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari, on Monday, disclosed that the price of petrol will not be increased in May.
NNPC has maintained an ex-depot price of N148/litre since February despite the increase in the price of petrol, hence incurring a subsidy of over N120bn monthly.
Ex-depot price is the cost of petrol at depots, from where filling stations purchase the commodity before dispensing to final consumers.
Kyari in his statement further stated that Petroleum Tanker Drivers have suspended their proposed strike after the intervention of NNPC in the disagreement between the PTD and the National Association of Road Transport Owners.