Wednesday, May 25

Over-dependence on oil a ‘terrible mistake’, says Buhari

Over-dependence on oil a ‘terrible mistake’, says Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has described the sole dependence on oil as the mainstay of the economy as a terrible mistake”.

Lamenting the current economic situation of the country, Buhari said his administration was fully determined to do all within its powers to achieve the rapid diversification of Nigeria’s economy in the shortest possible time.

He said he was convinced that with greater diligence, hard work and patriotic determination to achieve self-sufficiency, Nigeria could produce most of the items currently on its import list.

According to Femi Adesina, special adviser to the president on media and publicity, Buhari said this in Abuja on Wednesday, while bidding Saeed Koozechi, Iranian ambassador, farewell.

“We made a terrible mistake by becoming a mono-product economy hinged on oil and we are now in a volatile situation, due to the crash in oil prices,” he said.

“We have seen the benefits of diversification which helped Iran to survive many years of sanctions and still come out strong. We are now fully committed to economic diversification.

“Most of the things on our import bills can be produced here. And we are determined to achieve that self-dependency.”

At a separate audience with the outgoing Chinese ambassador, Gu Xiaojie, Buhari gave an assurance that the federal government would strive to meet its obligations under bilateral agreements with China for the development of critical infrastructure in Nigeria.

He said the administration would uphold contractual agreements with Chinese companies for the development of essential infrastructure which it inherited from past administrations, saying the projects would be speedily completed.

The president also reiterated his commitment to the completion of the Mambilla Power Project which, he said, was of great strategic importance to his government’s efforts to ensure that Nigeria does not become over-reliant on gas-powered electricity generation.

He commended the outgoing ambassadors for their efforts to strengthen bilateral relations between Nigeria and their countries during their tenure in Abuja even as he wished them well in their future endeavours.

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