Abuja – President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday said his administration was committed and determined to do all within its powers to achieve rapid diversification of the country’s economy in the shortest possible time.
The President 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.
He added that “we made a terrible mistake by becoming 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.’’
At a separate audience with outgoing Chinese Ambassador, Mr Gu Xiaojie, the President assured that the Federal Government would continue to do its best to meet its obligations under bilateral agreements with China for the development of critical infrastructure.
The President said that because of their importance to Nigeria, his administration would uphold contractual agreements with Chinese companies for the development of essential infrastructure which it inherited from past administrations.
According to him, his administration will ensure that the projects are speedily completed.
He reiterated the commitment of his administration to the completion of the Mambilla Power Project.
He added that the project was of great strategic importance to government’s efforts “to ensure that Nigeria does not become over-reliant on gas-powered electricity generation.’’
Buhari commended the outgoing ambassadors for their efforts to strengthen bilateral relations between Nigeria and their countries during their tenure in Abuja.
He wished them well in their future endeavours.
The ambassadors thanked the President for the cooperation and support they received from government which enabled them to perform their duties (NAN)