Nigeria “wasted” 30 years of oil income, the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Dominique Strauss-Kahn said yesterday as he warned the country against the dangers of neglecting the non-oil sectors of its economy.

“Nigeria has had 40 years of oil but for the first 30 years it wasted the proceeds from that oil,” Strauss-Kahn said. “One of the risks Nigeria faces is neglecting the non-oil sectors of the economy .. of being dazzled by the oil, and tomorrow by the gas, and that the rest of the economy is slowly abandoned,” he warned.

“There’s been a lot of wasted time and a lot of wasted money for the (Nigerian) people but today I can sense a determination to do things differently,” he said on his second day in the Nigerian capital where he met with President Umaru Yar’Adua, before the latter left for China.

No prizes for guessing what Yar’Adua is doing in China…