President Muhammadu Buhari has revealed that Nigeria’s over-reliance on oil is the biggest mistake the country has made but assured that his administration was committed to rapid diversification.
President Buhari said this in Abuja on Wednesday, May 25 at a farewell audience with the outgoing Iranian ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Saeed Koozechi.
Buhari said he was convinced that with greater diligence, hard work and patriotic determination to achieve self-sufficiency, Nigeria can produce most of the items currently on its import list. “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.
“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.”
President Buhari also spoke at the outgoing ceremony of the Chinese ambassador, Mr. Gu Xiaojie. He said the federal government will continue to do its best to meet its obligations under bilateral agreements with China for the development of critical infrastructure in Nigeria. Buhari assured that his government will honour every agreement made by the past and present administration with the Chinese government.
The president reiterated his commitment to the completion of the Mambilla Power Project which he described as a way of ensuring that Nigeria does not become over-reliant on gas-powered electricity generation.
President Buhari commended the outgoing ambassadors for their efforts to strengthen bilateral relations between Nigeria and their countries during their tenure in Abuja.
President Buhari said during his visit to China that his administration will correct past errors and make sure all agreements between the two countries are fulfiled as it was claimed that the previous administration failed to honour its agreement.