Stop dependence on oil, diversify revenues, Okonjo-Iweala urges govs-elect –

Okonjo Iweala WTO scaled

A picture taken on July 15, 2020, in Geneva shows Nigerian former Foreign and Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala smiling during a hearing before World Trade Organization 164 member states’ representatives, as part of the application process to head the WTO as Director General. – South Korean trade minister Yoo Myung-hee on February 5, 2021 abandoned her bid to become head of the WTOm, Seoul said, clearing the way for Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to become the global body’s first woman and first African director-general. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP) (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)

The Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has advised the incoming governors to not depend on crude oil, but diversify the sources of revenue in their respective states.

Okonjo-Iweala spoke on Monday during an induction organised for the elected governors in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

According to the WTO boss, states with over-dependence on the monthly Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) would be adversely affected, warning that they should start preparing for the time petroleum products will no longer sustain the country.

“We need to start preparing now for a time when our oil and gas will no longer serve us as the main sources of revenue. States with a heavy dependence on FAAC allocation will be particularly hit,” Okonjo-Iweala stated.

“It is important that you governors start now to diversify your revenue sources. We ought to be seeking to double our growth rate and sustain that higher growth until we attain upper middle-income status.”

Former Nigeria’s finance minister also urged the governors-elect to rebuild trust through their policies and programmes to regain the support of Nigerians.

She explained that a lot of trusts have been injured following the outcome of the 2023 general elections.

“Honourable governors, let us be candid: trust in Nigeria has always been fragile but following the elections, a lot of trust has been broken.

“Through your words, deeds, and policies, you need to demonstrate to Nigerians that they are equally loved. That they can settle and do business in any part of the country without fear. I love Nigeria deeply and I want to feel welcome in any part of this country,” she added.

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