Otuaro Harps On Diversification of State Economy
BY DAVID OBES
Delta State Deputy Governor, Barr. Kingsley Otuaro, has said, it is very important to diversify the Delta State economy by harnessing its solid minerals in order to move the state and the nation forward, stressing that the sole reliance on oil and gas has been retrogressive, unproductive and can no longer sustain the nation’s economy.
Barr. Otuaro stated this while playing host to members of the Federation Account Allocation Committee, FAAC, Abuja, who were on an advocacy visit to the state at Government House, Asaba, noted that the country’s oil and gas resources is becoming dipletable, and can no longer sustain the nation’s economy.
According to him; “our sole reliance on oil and gas resources is evident can no longer sustain our national economy, and that is the truth, it is imperative and of course before our very eyes, we have seen the effects of our sole reliance, it has been retrogressive and have been very unproductive. Therefore, it is very important that we diversify our economy and avail our nature’s much more resources to move our nation forward in our quest for growth and development”. Barr. Otuaro stated.
The state deputy governor while commending members of FAAC on their advocacy and working visit, noted that the state in recognition of the fact that our oil and gas resources are dipletable, and of course cannot sustain the economy, has before now blaze the train in diversification of the state economy.
“As a state, we have are a little before now blaze the train on diversification, because we believe that the oil and gas resources are dipletable, and of course cannot sustaine our economy. Therefore we have before now initiated Delta Beyond Oil philosophy and your visit to this gesture is putting a square peg in a square hole. It is very complementary to know that we have before now believed and we expect that as a state, we are going to take maximum advantage of this visit to ensure that we diversify our economy and explore further alternatives of increasing our state earnings as well as our national earnings which before now has been solely reliant on oil and gas”. The deputy governor assured!
The state deputy governor in the presence of Civil Commissioners, Special Advisers to the governor, Deputy Chief of Staff, as well as Secretary to the State Government, Hon. Ovie Agas, asserted that the state in order to drive home its prosperity for all Deltans will endeavour to explore it solid minerals like Clay, Choline, Silica as well as others so as to bring about the needed growth.
His words: “Delta State is not only blessed or endowed with oil and gas resources, we also have in abundance clay in some parts of the states, we have choline in some parts of Delta North senatorial districts, we have Silica in some parts of Ughelli North local government area and beyond. We hope very strongly that all of these resources in going forward will be taking advantage of to ensuring that we avail our people the much needed development and growth as a state and as a country”. Barr. Otuaro stated.
Earlier, the team leader, Prof. Afolabi Popoola, a Federal Commissioner, Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, said members of FAAC are in the state on an advocacy visit to brainstorm with the state government on how best to revive the solid mineral sector to act as an alternative to the fall in revenue derivable from Oil and Gas.
Prof. Popoola noted that Delta State remains a major player in oil and gas as well as its solid mineral resources, hence the need to tap into it to boost the revenue base of the state. He urged private sector and other stakeholders to partner with the federal and state government in making the solid mineral sector to be as vibrant as it ought to be.
He use the occasion to remind to the state government of the need to look into the tax income generation emphasizing that improved internally generated revenue will assist states overcome its financial challenges.