Speaking at a bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister of Denmark, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, in Washington DC, U.S, President Buhari said that the Federal Government is determined to significantly reduce the high bill for importation of food products to Nigeria. He also reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to the rapid diversification of Nigerian economy.
“We developed a mono-product economy and lost opportunities to diversify in the past. We have great potential for agriculture and solid minerals; we are now determined to exploit them to the fullest,” Buhari said in a statement issued by Presidential Spokesman Femi Adesina on Saturday.
According to Buhari, addressing the past neglect of these two sectors will help to reduce unemployment and make Nigeria 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 potential,” the President told Rasmussen.
Buhari assured the Danish Prime Minister that the Federal Government would continue to partner other countries to further improve maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea.
The President said that his administration was determined to stop the huge loss of revenue from crude oil theft and had received assurances of international support to curb illegal shipments of Nigeria’s crude oil.
Remarking that his country was a major shipping nation, Rasmussen thanked Buhari for Nigeria’s current efforts to enhance security in the Gulf of Guinea.
He assured the President that Danes would be very interested in investing in the development of Nigeria’s agricultural sector if the right policies and conditions were 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 assured President Buhari.