President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed the determination of his
government to significantly reduce the very high bill for importation of food products to Nigeria, even as he reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to the rapid diversification of the economy.
A statement issued on Saturday by the
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi
Adesina says that Buhari made the remark at a bilateral meeting
with the Prime Minister of Denmark, Mr. Lars Rasmussen, in Washington DC.
In the words of the President, “We
developed a mono-product economy and lost opportunities to diversify in the past.
“We have great potentials for agriculture
and solid minerals. We are now determined to exploit them to the
fullest. Addressing the past neglect of these two sectors will help
to reduce unemployment and make us a more productive country.
“We will welcome more investment in our agriculture and solid minerals sectors from countries with expertise in the two sectors. We abandoned them for petroleum. Now, we have to go back.
“Our bill for the importation of food and
dairy products is very high. We want to cut it as much as possible by developing our local potentials,” the President told Mr. Rasmussen.
He assured the Danish Prime Minister that the Federal Government will continue to work in partnership with
other countries to further improve maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea.
Buhari said that his administration was
determined to stop the huge loss of revenue from crude oil theft
and has received assurances of international support to curb
illegal shipments of Nigeria’s crude oil.
On his part, Mr. Rasmussen thanked
President Buhari for Nigeria’s current efforts to enhance security in the Gulf of Guinea, stressing that his country was a major shipping nation.
He assured the President that the people of his country will be very interested in investing in the development of Nigeria’s agricultural sector if the right policies and conditions are put in place.
“We are quite experienced in agriculture. It is an area in which we can cooperate. If you pave the way and
remove the obstacles, we will like to come in,” the Prime Minister
told Nigeria’s leader.