Recently, I complained about the dependence of our economy on oil. I brought this issue up in one of my speeches. This issue is related to what I am saying. We should do something to reduce or stop the sale of crude oil gradually. We should bring about value added. Banks can play a role in this regard. They can both play a constructive or destructive role. Other fundamental tasks are facilitating investment, reducing the imports of consumer goods and combating smuggling. Executive officials can carry out different tasks. These are some of the tasks that they can carry out.
There have been two great problems in our economy: one is that our economy was based on oil and another is that it was governmental. Our economy is based on oil. What does it mean? It means that we extract oil - which is our permanent investment and which has a value added - from under the ground and we sell it in the crude form so that we can use the money for the affairs of the country. There is no greater loss. Oil-based economy is like this. Well, oil can be changed into products. I estimate - some scientific analyses confirm my estimation - that the value of the oil that we change into petroleum, gasoline, white oil as well as other substances that have not been produced by human beings yet can increase by hundreds of times. We are not aware of this. We extract oil from wells so that we can sell this resource and use the money for different affairs of the country.
This resource is not reproduced under the ground. It is among finite resources. We cannot say, "When we extract all of it, it will be produced again". This is not the case. When we extract it, it will finish. Oil and gas are like this. There is really nothing worse than this. This is one of the sinister legacies of the former taghuti regime. Of course, this is an easy way of earning money and some officials in different eras have preferred to use this easy money.
One of the fundamental tasks that we should carry out in the area of economic issues and the future of the country is severing our country’s dependence on oil. --This has been repeated, frequently, for years by all competent and intelligent economists. --And this can become a reality. I have always said to officials that we should separate the economy from selling crude oil as much as possible. When we sell crude oil, we are in fact extracting and selling a source of wealth and an asset which cannot be reproduced and which is finite; and we earn money for that; and we spend it on the management of the country: this is wrong.
We must utilize and consume this asset in a way that will have value-added. We should optimize oil. One of the important problems in our economy is dependence. Our pious youth and intellectuals should sit together and find ways to liberate the country from dependence on oil. Of course, the policies for this have been formulated. When we included and announced the formation of the national development fund in the general policies of the country, it was because we wanted to liberate ourselves from dependence on oil.