To overcome development challenges, members of the D-8 countries have been called upon to work on alternative sources of income and less dependence on revenue from oil.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, in his address to the 6th Ministerial Conference on Industrial Cooperation among member countries holding in Abuja, said the body must take advantage of the enormous opportunities to develop the region, and look away from oil, with its unstable prices.
Organization for Economic Cooperation, also known as D-8, is an organization for development co-operation among countries including Nigeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia,Pakistan, and Turkey.
The Abuja meeting, coming on the heels of recent meeting, held in Turkey, offers an opportunity to member states to consolidate on the gains of the 9th Summit, with most members countries depending on revenue from oil.
The organization was founded to advance the positions of developing countries in the world economy, diversify and created new opportunities in trade relations and enhance better standards of living for its people, by cooperating in the areas of finance, banking, rural development, science and technology, humanitarian development, agriculture, energy, environment and health.
He therefore called on the organization to go back to the vision of the founding fathers adding that “fall in commodity prices has led us to deepen diversification of our economies, and challenge industry to greater productivity and cost effectiveness”
“On the socio-economic front, we must constantly remind ourselves of the profound statement of principles, which we made in our very first summit in Istanbul in 1997, which was that the main objective of the D-8 is social economic development in accordance with the following principles; peace instead of conflict, dialogue instead of confrontation, co-operation instead of exploitation, justice instead of double standards, equality instead of discrimination, democracy instead of oppression. These principles are timeless and as relevant today as they were then ” he said.
“Most of our nations are achieving great milestones in the use of renewable energy while our young people, despite the difficulties, are competing with their peers in the commercial use of innovation and technology”
“But besides, between now and 2035, ten countries are going to account collectively for over half the world’s projected population increase. Of that ten, four, including Nigeria, are D-8 countries. All of these countries also have large youth populations who will need education, jobs and livelihoods in the next few years.”
The body was also challenged to build concrete plans for collaboration and partnerships, to strength comparative advantages to advance the good of one and all of our nations.
“The D-8 countries must remain a potent force for peace, for justice and the observance of fundamental freedoms at all times. And this is especially so for the social upheavals, conflicts and tensions swelling here and there”
He reiterated Nigeria’s commitment to working with all of our members in the task of enlarging opportunities for trade and investment, amongst members and the country’s readiness to continue to support the work of the organization in these areas.
Tony Ailemen , Abuja