Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has restated the commitment of his administration in making agriculture the economic mainstay of the country in place of oil.
Buhari stated this in his New Year’s Day message to the country on Sunday stressing his administration was already getting things right in that direction. “On our part, in the past 20 months since our inauguration on May 29, 2015, we have focused our energies to turn around the economy, create jobs, fight corruption, and transform agriculture to replace oil and gas as a major revenue earner for the nation.
“ I am encouraged that we are getting things right. The agricultural revolution has begun. Farmers in different parts of the country are experiencing bumper harvests; states are getting into strategic partnership towards attaining self-sufficiency in rice, and the era of over-dependence on oil for foreign exchange revenues is gradually waning.”
The President said he was optimistic that his administration’s CHANGE mantra which swayed the electorate in favour of his Party in the 2015 General Elections will manifest more and be sustained in different sectors, particularly agriculture, in 2017.
“As you may be aware, our economic recovery and growth plan in 2017 is anchored on optimizing the use of local content and empowering local businesses.
“In pursuit of this administration’s philosophy, we will continue to appeal that we buy “Made In Nigeria” goods. Like I said during the 2017 Budget presentation to the National Assembly, farmers, small and medium-sized manufacturers, agro-allied businesses, dressmakers, entertainers and technology start-ups, will remain the true drivers of our economic future.
President Buhari noted that farmers were the engine of the nation’s economic recovery and their needs underpin Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
On job creation, he assured that his administration will sustain existing programmes aimed at lifting a vast number of youths out of poverty, while at the same time creating the opportunities for people to fend for themselves.