Azerbaijani president: Oil and gas are exhaustible resources, while intellectual potential is unchanging wealth
Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept.21
Oil and gas are exhaustible resources, while intellectual potential, knowledge, literacy, competence, experience – this is unchanging wealth, said Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, addressing the ceremony to mark 25th anniversary of Contract of the Century and Oil Workers Day on Sept.20, Trend reports.
“Azerbaijani citizens, trained specialists are doing a great job today and making a huge contribution to the development of our country,” he said.
“Oil revenues have been used in the development of the country's economy. We have channelled them into that. The infrastructure has been completely upgraded. Remember the state of our infrastructure in 1994 and see what state it is in now. At that time, even half of Baku could not receive natural gas. In the regions, this was completely out of the question. Today, gasification in Azerbaijan constitutes 96 percent. We have built gas lines to the most remote mountain villages, and this process continues. I have asked the State Oil Company not to stop this work. Of course, 96 percent is a very large figure. Only a handful of countries conduct gasification at such a level. But we must continue it. In those years, half of our country was left without electricity. There was a shortage even in Baku. Sometimes even television channels stopped working at midnight so that people used less electricity because there was a shortage of it. Today, about 3,000 megawatts of new generation capacities have been created, and we not only provide for ourselves, but also export,” noted the head of state.
“The roads were in terrible condition. According to the estimates of the Davos World Economic Forum, Azerbaijan today is in 34th place globally in terms of the quality of roads. Drinking water was a huge problem. Today, 75 percent of the population is constantly provided with drinking water, and this process continues,” said President Aliyev.
He pointed out that more than a hundred settlements have been built for the internally displaced.
“We got rid of tent camps back in 2007. Due to what? Due to the Oil Fund! Where does the money for the oil fund come from? From the implementation of the Contract of the Century! We have provided new homes, new apartments to hundreds of thousands of IDPs. Benefits to the families of martyrs and war veterans, allowances, apartments, cars, etc. That is, the Contract of the Century has brought huge benefits and we have used the funds properly. Oil Fund’s revenues can only be used within the budget, so the people of Azerbaijan through their representatives in the Milli Majlis take part in the distribution of these funds,” he said.
The social infrastructure has been completely reconstructed, said the head of state.
“More than 3,200 schools and 640 hospitals have been built and renovated. New sports facilities have been constructed. Azerbaijan has become a space-faring nation. We have three satellites. Using revenues, we keep our public debt at a low level. It accounts for only 19 percent of the gross domestic product. Our foreign exchange resources are five times higher than the external debt. Where else is this possible? There are such countries, but there are not many of them,” added President Aliyev.