The former minister of industry, trade and investment, Mr Olusegun Aganga, has said that over 60 reforms and 12 game- changing programmes were implemented within the last four years of former President Goodluck Jonathan administration to diversify the revenue base of the economy.
Aganga stated this while speaking at a send off dinner in his honour organised by the chief executive of parastatals under the ministry yesterday in Abuja.
The minister said that if the country were to continue on the path of industrialisation there was the need for the new administration to sustain the reforms.
He said a discontinuance of the reforms would do the country no good as it would send a signal that the nation was still not ready for the diversification of the economy. He noted that other countries that relied solely on oil have been able to diversify their economy by aggressively implementing key reforms for at least eight to nine years.
“We have implemented more than 12 game changers and more than 60 reforms to enable us diversify the economy and the revenue resources of the government so that we will no longer rely on oil alone. So I would hope and pray that we continue strictly with the implementation of the industrial revolution plan. That is the only thing that will diversify the revenue sources of this country.
“Countries that rely only on one product that have successfully diversified have stayed on the same programme for eight to nine years. We need to keep to the same programme. The only thing I need to plead with the new administration is let’s to stay on this path for the next eight or nine years. We have set the pace with the reforms, all that is needed is continued implementation for the next eight to nine years,” he said.
The heads of parastatals who also spoke at the dinner said the minister had been able to transform the ministry to enviable heights.
For instance, the director-general, Consumer Protection Council (CPC), Mrs Dupe Atoki said, “He has encouraged us to move the bar of CPC forward towards protecting consumers and that is the traits of a good leader that will make you move forward to attain the height that you need to achieve.”
In his contribution, the permanent secretary, Ambassador, Abdulkadir Musa, stated that the minister initiated what could be described as “Zero Oil Policies,” adding that the implementation of the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) and the National Enterprise Development Programme (NEDEP), would put Nigeria at a level where oil would become secondary.
“Aganga is a deliberate choice by the federal government to place square pegs in square holes and this has paid off very well,” he added.