President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the progressive decline in oil revenue occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic has made it imperative for Nigeria to pursue the development of non-oil economy and diversification of revenue sources.
President Buhari while speaking during the 6th triennial national delegates conference of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) also said that Nigeria was bracing up for a possible longer lower price era.
Represented by the minister of state for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, the President said: "The government is factoring in these current realities in its reform agenda, we are developing strategic survival measures to ensure economic sustainability and job security."
"While we seriously believe that the diversification plan\ to non-oil economy has become a national imperative, let me assure you that crude oil will remain prominent in the global energy mix in the medium to long term, this implies that massive opportunities abound to members of PENGASSAN," he added.
President Buhari said Nigerian oil and gas industry remain the main driver for economic and infrastructural development of the country, saying it is the major contributor of foreign exchange earnings to the Nigerian government accounting for around 10% of the nation's GDP as well as providing employment to a significant number of skilled, semi-skilled, and unskilled labour.
He said haven recognised the significance of oil and gas industry as an enabler of national growth, and development, "my government carved out some strategies for the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to stimulate the sector in order to foster the sustainability of the Nigerian economy."