President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to explore the potentials available in agriculture and solid minerals sectors to tackle the high rate of unemployment in Nigeria.
He said his administration had resolved to return to the sectors that were abandoned for petroleum in the past as a way of making the country a more productive one.
According to a statement on Saturday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President spoke at a bilateral meeting he had with the Prime Minister of Denmark, Mr. Lars Rasmussen, in Washington DC.
Buhari, who is currently in the United States for the 4th Nuclear Security Summit, said the rapid diversification of Nigeria’s economy remained top on his administration’s agenda.
He added that Federal Government under his leadership was determined to significantly reduce the high bill for importation of food products to Nigeria.
He said, “We developed a mono-product economy and lost opportunities to diversify in the past.
“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.”
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.
While saying that his country is 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 will be 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 Buhari.