President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the speculated riches of Nigeria might not be completely true.
Speaking with the outgoing president of the African Development Bank, AfDB, Dr. Donald Kaberuka yesterday in the State House, the president argued that a critical look‎ at the country’s economic profile might reveal that Nigeria might not be so rich.
He said: “An impression has been erroneously created that we are a rich country but looking at the economic profile of the country today, you will see that that is not necessarily the case.
“Our social services have to be seriously rehabilitated. We need urgent attention on areas like education and health services, not only in the north eastern part of the country, but all round the country.
“We will fall back on institutions like the AfDB for support in generating employment. We have vast potential in the agricultural sector that can be explored to create more jobs.
“We also have small businesses that need funds for expansion,” the President told Mr. Kaberuka and other AfDB officials.
The president therefore called on Nigeria’s elite to be prepared to contribute more meaningfully towards helping the country to overcome its current challenges.
President Buhari said that privileged and influential citizens clearly have to do more now than in the past to help the country to deal successfully with its economic and security problems.
“With the shock of falling oil prices, lack of revenues, and insecurity, the Nigerian elites must now wake up and provide the right guidance in their communities, and also lead the economy on the right path more than they used to do,” the President said.
President Buhari also told Mr. Kaberuka that his administration would welcome more support from the AfDB for projects in versatile sectors like agriculture that could easily be explored to create more jobs for unemployed Nigerians.
The outgoing AfDB president told President Buhari that some development institutions like the World Bank, German Development Bank and the European Development Bank had already indicated their readiness to provide long term loan facilities to small businesses in Nigeria.
Mr. Kaberuka assured the president that the AfDB would always support economic projects in Nigeria.
Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina of Nigeria will replace the outgoing AfDB president next month.
The AfDB currently has a strong capital base of 4.8 billion US dollars.

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