Dwindling oil revenue:Tambuwal advises states to diversify revenue sources



Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State on Saturday advised state governments to urgently diversify their revenue sources in the face of dwindling oil revenue.

The governor spoke in Sokoto while closing a two-day business opportunity forum organised by the State Government on Saturday.

”The dwindling resources in the country have made it imperative for states to look to private investment to survive.

”Sokoto cannot afford to allow its income to be determined by hydro-carbon prices, which from forecast will likely remain low for the foreseeable future.

” So, the only plausible way out for Sokoto and other states is to diversify our internal revenue sources, including the revamping the hitherto robust agricultural sector,” he said.

Tambuwal said that Sokoto was opened to foreign investments as all necessary incentives had been put in place for both potential local and foreign investor.
“The state has comparative advantage in sectors like agriculture, tourism, mining and power generation.”

Mr Olivier Dellefosse, the Mission Director of the French Investment Agency (AFD), said that it was ready to provide loans to the state’s proposed micro-finance banks.

”The main areas of concern for AFD include power generation, transmission and distribution, urban development, support for SMEs and agriculture.

”The agency will explore areas of cooperation with the Sokoto government for the mutual benefit of the two entities,” he said.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), also expressed their readiness to partner with the Sokoto government for development of key sectors.

They further promised to provide technical assistance and expertise where necessary, adding, ”where there is transparency and good governance, foreign investors will be willing to look in.”

In his presentation, the Chief Executive Officer of Aso Savings and Loans Ltd., Malam Hassan Usman, said that it was willing build 4,000 housing units in
Sokoto in the next four years, if the government would provide land and guarantee buyers.

The Managing Director of Nigeria’s Sovereign Investment Authority, Mr Uche Orji, urged Sokoto to leverage on the peace it was presently enjoying to sell its credentials to the outside world.

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