Andy Esiet, Calabar
The Senate President of Nigeria , Sen. Ahmad Lawan has declared that the time to diversify the country’s economy has come with a promise to revisit the 76 oil wells issue.
Lawan who is one of the leading presidential aspirants on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), said this on Friday in Calabar while a addressing delegates and party supporters, noting that Nigeria cannot continue to operate a mono economy hence the need to diversify as the country needs a knowledge based economy to achieve it’s desired goals.
He said “as a country we need to create wealth , employment opportunity , we believe in national development. This race is about improving the lives of Nigeria based on the ideals of our Party.Nigeria cannot continue to depend only on oil , there is urgent need for diversification , our youths needs to be fully part of our economy.
“We need to invest in education , it is the foundation of the development of every country. If you look at a country like Singapore , they had almost nothing , but they invested in their youths through education and that turned their fortunes around
“We need a knowledge based economy which can only be built on education as it opens many doors of opportunities , we must invest now” as education will open doors of opportunities for youths and the son of a poor man should be able to attend school.
Sen. Lawan said Nigeria needs to invest heavily in education stressing that it is the foundation of development of every country that aspires to be great. “I have gathered a lot of experience as a lawmaker as well as in other areas, I know that there issues that needs to be tackled including security , economy and so on, we are ready and competent to handle every challenge.
“The son of a poor person should be able to go to school in the Nigeria we are building, this will make our economy better .If we have trained people and intellectual individuals then we will grow beyond imagination.
“I have the energy, experience and we have the competence to make Nigeria better. I also believe in team work as I believe in working with people who have acquired experiences in various fields and endeavours for us to progress as a country” .
He said the Petroleum Industry Act has given the Senate an opening to open up discussion on the 76 oil wells Cross River lost to Akwa Ibom in 2012 at the Supreme Court.
According to him: “We will certainly revisit the controversial 76 oil wells. We will address the issue at Senate level” as there is need for amicable and political settlement of the matter.
The Cross River state governor, Senator Ben Ayade who is also a presidential aspirant, promised to work for Lawan if he gets the ticket saying, “I am also going to work for you if you get the party’s ticket. You have always stood by us as a state”.
He said that the Senate President has the capacity to handle cases of Boko Haram, banditary and the challenges in the Niger Delta.