Nasir el-Rufai, Kaduna state governor, says he desires for Nigeria’s crude oil to get exhausted so the nation can start to seriously develop other revenue sources.
Describing the revenue generated from oil as “easy money,” the governor said when the oil dries up, Nigeria will regain its “thinking initiative”.
He made the statement on Saturday in Ibadan while speaking at the 2017 town hall meeting/founder’s day celebration in memory of Ojetunji Aboyade, a renowned economist.
“Because Nigeria gets easy money from oil, the nation has lost its thinking initiative on how to develop other sources of revenue and diversify the economy,” he said.
“We get easy money, we do not collect taxes and our taxes are six per cent of Gross Domestic Product; that is an average of 21per cent. We stop respecting the intellectuals that we have in our universities because we get easy money.
“This is very sad, I wish the oil will dry up so that we can begin to use our brains because we have stopped using our brains and we have stopped respecting intellects because of easy money.”
The governor lamented the country’s failure to plan for the future, and its inability to curb the ongoing brain drain.
He said: “How can we promote a national subscription to meritocracy? How can we ensure that the imperative of reflecting federal character does not become the enemy of merit and quality of appointments? Today, we don’t plan. We don’t have national plan and if we don’t plan, we are planning to fail.
“Having suffered brain drain, how do we attract back our Diaspora and the brain-gain associated with it like the Chinese and Indians have witnessed? These are the questions a distributive mentality around easy oil revenues is dodging.
“The earlier the oil dries up the better for our national ability to think, be innovative and respect intellect and academic achievement.”