UNDP rep. advises FG to look beyond oil for revenue

Dr Lamin Bayain, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) the Country Representative, has advised the Federal Government to look beyond oil and gas for revenue generation.

Bayain gave the advice against the backdrop of dwindling oil prices at the international market, when he paid a courtesy visit to the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) office on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said that diversification of revenue earning avenues had become necessary due to imminent challenges that await oil producing countries in the near future.

He noted that the agriculture sector was vital to current efforts aimed at transforming the Nigerian economy.

“For the country to survive beyond oil, more investments in the agriculture sector, targeted at mechanised agriculture, will definitely encourage the youths to embrace agriculture,” Bayain said.

Responding, the retired Brig. Gen. Paul Boroh, Chairman, PAP, commended the team for the visit aimed at identifying areas of possible collaboration with the UN agency on empowerment of more former Niger Delta agitators in non-oil business engagement.

”The PAP has been collaborating with the UNDP in the area of skills acquisition for the Niger Delta youths.

”This visit is to explore ways of improving such collaboration, particularly, in non-oil related endeavours.

”We are working on short-term, medium-term as well as long-term measures to improve engagement and empowerment of the Niger Delta youths.”

He gave an assurance that the Federal Government was committed to developing the Niger Delta region, and to ensuring the sustenance of the amnesty programme.

He also assured the UNDP team that adequate steps would be taken to strengthen the partnership between the PAP and UNDP.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the UNDP has been in partnership with the PAP in sustaining peace and development in post-conflict Niger Delta.

The programme has introduced a number of strategies including educational and vocational skills training for ex-militants as alternatives to violence and militancy in the region.

This approach is believed to have achieved some level of success due to the observed reduction in violence and militancy in the region.

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