ABUJA – President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday in Birnin Kebbi said that Nigeria can’t no longer sustain the importation of rice and other food items which it has capacity to produce in commercial quantities, saying that the diversification of the economy was a necessity.
The president spoke while launching the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme and the commencement of the dry season farming in the state.
He stated that the dwindling oil prices in the international market has made it compulsory for his government to diversify the economy and intensify effort at reinvigorating agriculture.
The president recalled that agriculture was the mainstay of the economy before the discovery of oil, stressing that efforts must be geared towards bringing back the glory days.
He said: “The importance of agriculture in the economy can not be over emphasised. Prior to the advent of oil, our country survived on agriculture production.”
He said: “During this period, the economy our sub region was built on agricultural activities and our gross domestic product grew steady.
“The discovery of oil was expected to compliment our agriculture productivity. But we allowed oil to almost completely replaced it. Our current trend at the international oil market had brought to fore the urgent need to diversify both the productive and revenue based of our economy and to conserve our foreing reserve by limiting our apetite for imporation of goods that we can easily produce locally.