President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the federal government is determined to significantly reduce the very high bill for importation of food products to Nigeria.
At a bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister of Denmark, Lars Rasmussen, in Washington DC, Mr. Buhari also reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to the rapid diversification of Nigeria’s economy.
“We developed a mono-product economy and lost opportunities to diversify in the past,” he said.
“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.
Mr. Buhari assured the Danish prime minister that the federal government would continue to work in partnership with other countries to further improve maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea.
The president said 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.
Remarking that his country is a major shipping nation, Mr. Rasmussen thanked Mr. 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 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 Mr. Buhari.