President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday said that there was no better time to diversify the Nigerian economy than now.
Buhari said this at the 56th Annual General Meeting and Conference of Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) in Dutse.
Represented by Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah, the President said his administration was determined to ensure the long-overdue fundamental restructuring of the Nigerian economy.
He said that Nigeria had depended on oil and gas which accounted for more than 75 per cent of government’s revenue for so long.
The President said that with the current dwindling prices of oil, the needed reform to diversify the country’s economy must be carried out.
Buhari said that with the current challenge, the country must harness its natural resources like agriculture and solid minerals to survive, being a country blessed with arable land, endless swathes of grasslands and forest.
He said that these natural resources produced more yam, cassava, cashew nut, shea nuts and kola nuts than the rest of the world.
Buhari said that Nigeria was equally blessed with solid mineral resources, stressing that not less than 44 mineral resources were available in commercial quantities across the country.
The President said that it was disheartening that every year Nigeria spent more than three billion dollars to import steel despite the fact that the country had enough iron ore.
He said that his government would create environment that would enable private sector to partner the government to implement the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan.
Buhari promised to champion the cause of Nigeria’s micro small and medium enterprises as well as attract long-term domestic and foreign investments to the country.