Atiku Abubakar, former Vice President, on Wednesday cautioned Nigeria against its over-dependence on oil.
The Waziri of Adamawa said Nigeria should learn from Venezuela, a country with the largest oil reserve in the world that still faces so many challenges.
Speaking at Chatham House in London, the former Vice President said, if oil could not save Venezuela, it won’t save Nigeria.
According to Abubakar, “I particularly want to thank Nigerian nationals who are present here today. Your love for Nigeria is evident in that you have left your regular pursuits to be here to interact with lovers of Nigeria. Your presence inspires me.
“If oil could save a nation then surely it would have saved Venezuela, the nation with the largest proven reserves of oil in the world. But you and I know what is up with Venezuela and if oil has not saved her, it will not save Nigeria.”
Commenting on the huge debt accrued by Nigeria, Abubakar said, “The question now is, why are we saddled with a heavy and almost unsustainable debt burden twelve years after President Olusegun Obasanjo and I provided the leadership that paid off Nigeria’s entire foreign debt of $32 billion in one fell swoop?
“My idea is for the introduction of Matching Grants to be taken from the revenue accruable to the Federal Government for the purpose of matching IGR of each state in order to encourage states to become self-reliant.”