OrderPaperToday РThe United Kingdom has encouraged Nigeria to take the diversification  of the economy more seriously in order to surmount challenges posed by fallen oil prices.

Head of Economic Growth of the Department for International Development (DFID) in Nigeria, Mr Simon Kenny, said this at the National Assembly Business and Economy Roundtable held in Abuja Monday.

kenny who noted that one of the major economic challenges confronting Nigeria was over dependence on oil revenue, said the country’s per capital has gone downward going by global oil pricing.

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He said: “If you look at the demands of oil produced in Nigeria and the low price of oil, and divide that by the vast number of people in Nigeria, there is only around 200 dollars of oil per capital per year in the country.

“There is no way rising price of oil can raise Nigeria to anything above a middle income country and I know that the aspirations of Nigeria have gone beyond that to become a high level income country.

“So, oil revenue has dropped and this is the reality we are facing at the moment. The low price of oil has offered a perfect opportunity to increase investment and to build industries.”

The DFID official also urged the Federal Government to encourage import competitiveness as opposed to import substitution and that the private sector should be encouraged to drive the competition.

“You need to replace the word import substitution with import competitiveness,” he said.

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