Artisans, micro and small scale traders in Nigeria have been called upon to show concern over what is happening in the oil and gas sector in Nigeria.
A nongovernmental organisation, NGO, Entrepreneurship Initiative for African Youth, (EIFAY), made the call at a one-day capacity building workshop, Tuesday in Enugu, tagged, “Building the Capacity of Artisans, Micro and Small Scale Traders in Understanding the Impact of Oil and Gas Sector on Nigerian Economy and Business.”
Delivering a lecture at Oakland Hotel, Enugu titled, “Understanding the Nigerian Oil and Gas Sector: From the Artisans and Traders Lens,” Executive Director, EIFAY, Emmanuel Acha, said artisans and small scale industrialists were critical stakeholders in the Nigerian economy and as such, what affects the oil and gas sector, affects them.
He noted that Nigeria’s yearly budget appropriation is based on the price oil in the global market which could go up or down and for this reason, artisans; SMEs should show active interest in the activities of oil and gas sector.
Acha posited that artisans created over sixty million jobs in Nigeria and for this reason should not be pushed aside especially as Nigeria is assiduously trying to diversify the economy from a mono oil economy to other ventures.
“Artisans contribute to the development of Nigeria. We see artisans as critical stakeholders in the economy. We don’t have the data on the quantum of contributions artisans have made in the economy but their contribution can be quantified by the jobs they create for the economy,” Acha said.
The executive director of EIFAY, pointed out that now,
some developed countries are gradually moving from using oil by manufacturing fuel less engines and automobiles, there is need to diversify the economy which the artisans would play a prominent role.
He also pointed out that when Nigeria was enjoying excess crude oil money, she failed to manage it well, hence every sector of the economy is now affected.
He maintained that government’s failure to diversify the economy has brought untold suffering and hardship on the people, lamenting that Nigeria is fast losing investors which has occasioned job loss and persistent unemployment.
Acha noted that between 2008 and 2018, Nigeria was one of the fasted growing economies but because of inability to diversify the economy, everything has continued to witness a downward plunge.
He however posited that if the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, had been accented to, the oil industry could be revolutionalised while the crude oil lasts.
The workshop was organised in partnership with the Voice of Nigeria (VON) and was attended by various artisans and micro and small scale traders in Enugu.