A former Governor of old Midwest and Bendel States, Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to look for alternative sources of revenue, other than depending solely on oil to run the country.
Ogbemudia who stated this during an interview with journalists at his private residence in Benin, described recent bombings of oil facilities and pipelines in the Niger Delta region as a wake up call to the Federal Government to look away from oil with a view to diversifying the economy.
He said there was need to go back to agriculture which produced the groundnut pyramids in the north, cocoa pyramid in the west, palm oil and rubber in the Midwest and East which he said could not be bombed.
“My personal opinion is that; the bombing and destruction of pipeline in the Niger Delta is a challenge to the country to look for an alternative source of funding. If we had paid attention to agriculture as the North is producing groundnut, the West cocoa, the Mid-West palm oil and others do the same, nobody can sabotage the pipeline.
“The pyramids in Kano, you cannot get there to say you want to go and bomb it. The pyramids of cocoa in Ibadan, you cannot go and blow it off. It is because oil is passing through pipelines.
“Many years ago, when I suggested that all petrol stations should be connected to the pipeline direct to the refineries, they forced me down, the issue of bombing pipeline would not have arisen,” he said.
The retired Brigadier-General challenged the Buhari administration to embark on proper planning before embarking on any project, with a view to do more for the people, adding: “I suggest that we need to seat down and do more of our home work. We are not doing enough.
“All developments are preceded by planning and preparation and to plan, you must have information at your hand because of many people you are planning for.
“To plan, you must know the number of people in your country you are planning for. You must know the daily needs of the people. Then you can plan a refinery that either can refine all the crude or you build a refinery that could produce half of your importation. So,no alternative to having good planning and preparation.”
Commenting on the one year of President Buhari in office, Ogbemudia who commended him for what he has done so far, added, “from what we have seen, Buhari has done well.”