Chief John Odigie-Oyegun,the National Chairman of Nigeria’s ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, has said that Nigeria’s present economic challenges might be a divine intervention to ensure that Nigerians all embrace radical change in the country’s current economic model and diversify to other sectors instead of being oil-dependent.
A statement issued by the APC Secretariat on Thursday said Oyegun stated this in Abuja when he played host to a group, the Change Agents Foundation (CAF), an APC support group, at the party’s National Secretariat.
“I think God has a hand in the current economic predicament of the country. Imagine the sudden fall in the price of crude oil, the mainstay of the Nigerian economy, from its heights in 2014, averaging $112 per barrel down to the current price of $28 per barrel — lower than the $38 per barrel which the proposed 2016 budget is predicated on.
“It is an object lesson for us. It tells us that we must embrace radical change in our economic model. The drop in oil price has taken its toll on the revenue and expenditure of the Federal Government and is having a severe effect on the economy.
“The concept of change is a difficult one. Nigeria must be ready to adapt to new ways of doing things. As a party, we know and understand it calls for tremendous sacrifice, there is no other way. Yes the economy is in a bad shape, but maybe that is the kick we need to be innovative and find ways to drive the economy out of the woods.
“The luck we have is that we have as president a man committed to personal probity and sincerity of purpose to the project of developing Nigeria. Today, we must think and be innovative in ways of fashioning out new economic models which diversifies from the present over reliance on oil.
“We are in the process of organising a three-day dialogue which will bring the party, government and stakeholders for an exposition on the realities facing the country, particular the economy. It will provide an opportunity to exchange ideas so that we go home with a clear direction on how to go forward,” Oyegun said.
Earlier, CAF’s Director-General, Mr. Felix Felix, congratulated Oyegun for leading the APC to victory in the 2015 presidential election, adding that the purpose of the delegation’s visit was to identify with Oyegun’s success story.
Felix noted that while achieving success was a difficult thing, sustaining it was even more difficult.
“It is this realisation that prompted our coming together to form the Change Agents Foundation.The fight against corruption being waged by the Buhari administration is already yielding results.
“Our party promised Nigerians Change and this change Nigerians have already started experiencing through the unprecedented simplicity and transparency our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari has brought to governance of Nigeria.
“The fight against corruption has already started yielding results as looted public funds are being exposed and returned while everybody occupying public office today is conscious of his actions knowing that there would be consequences for any inaction or wrong action,” he said.