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Jonathan: Nigeria's Oil Reserve May Dry up in 35 Years

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Image: President Goodluck Jonathan 



By Ahamefula Ogbu, Crusoe Osagie and Sheriff Balogun



President Goodluck Jonathan Tuesday expressed concerns over the nation's depleting oil reserve noting that it poses a major threat to the nation’s economy.


He explained that Nigeria must aim at diversifying its economy from a mono-product economy to a multii-product economy in order to survive the current trend of economic crisis around the world.

Jonathan, who spoke at the inauguration of Lafarge Cement WAPCO Nigeria Plc Ewekoro II Cement Plant in Ewekoro, Ogun State, said Nigeria must find other means to sustain its economy, stressing the need to encourage the private sector to set up manufacturing industries to produce non-oil products and also create employment opportunities for the country's teeming population.


"We must move away from crude oil because experts have predicted that in 35 years from now, our oil reserves will dry up. If that is true, it spells economic doom for our future generation,” he said.

He also expressed hope that the promise by cement manufacturers on self sufficiency of cement by first quarter of next year comes to reality.


He said his meeting with cement manufacturers revealed that Nigeria will, in the first quarter of next year, become self-sufficient in cement production and even become a net exporter of cement.

"What we are commissioning today has the capacity to employ over 1000 people and earning over $6 billion foreign exchange. We must thank Lafarge for this," he said.


“This company has been with us since independence and it is still growing. I want to commend the loyalty of Lafarge for partnering with Nigeria even during this difficult time when we have security issues. You have passed through thick and thin and we appreciate your commitment,” he added.

He stated that in 2002, Nigeria introduced the Backward Integration Policy for cement manufacturing with the aim of making Nigeria self-sufficient in cement production stressing that his administration is totally committed to working with cement manufacturers to achieve self-sufficiency in cement production.


The President noted that he would make sure every government policy towards boosting production activities is implemented maintaining that the value of the naira must not be tied to the whims and caprices of the international oil market.

Also speaking, Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, said the inauguration of the Ewekor II plant would complement the existing Lafarge plant to ensure availability of cement thereby reducing the cost of cement in the country as well as make the state an investment haven.


He said the multiplier effect of the investment will bring about rural development, housing and create employment for the state’s teeming young population.

“We want to use this opportunity to invite other private sector to Ogun State because Ogun State is the investment destination of choice not only in Nigeria but the entire sub-region in West Africa,” he said.


“I urge the business community to take the rare advantages that our state offers in terms of a combined vast availability of human and material resources and the window to the rest of West Africa. Our doors are open to genuine investors for discussions just as we are ready to collaborate with the stakeholders to achieve the aim of making our state an industrial zone, which will in turn provide employment for our teeming youths,” he added.

He commended the President for the approval to jointly set up a Joint Security Trust fund to boost security in the state adding that the committee will compliment the effort of the Federal Government to ensure security in state and the country at large.


He urged business community in the state to take advantage of the opportunity the security trust fund offers saying that its doors are open to genuine investors just as they are ready to collaborate with stakeholders in the process of industrialising the state.

He therefore enjoined the state community to continue to support Lafarge’s huge investment also solicited for their continued support for all the companies currently doing businesses in the state.


The Group Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, Lafarge Cement WAPCO Nigeria Plc, Mr. Bruno Lafont said in the last decade, Lafarge has installed its capacity in four folds saying that Tuesday’s event is another visible milestone of the company’s commitment to Nigeria.

“This is to hold our commitment through investment in this country where you have both human and natural resources. With more than 8 million tonnes of cement produce in the country, Nigeria has become the largest operation of Lafarge in Africa and even has the potential to become one of the key largest operations of Lafarge in the world,” he said.

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Updated 7 Years ago

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Tags:     President Goodluck Jonathan     inauguration     Lafarge Ewekoro II Cement Plant