President Muhammadu Buhari said Thursday in Abuja that his administration will vigorously implement policies that will revive Nigeria’s agricultural sector and reposition it as the mainstay of the national economy.
Speaking at an audience with the new Bulgarian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Vesselin Blagoer Delcher, President Buhari said that his administration will evolve and implement policies that will help Nigeria become self-sufficient in food production because continued importation of food could expose the country to more external shocks.
The President noted that the unbridled importation of food also contributes to the depletion of the country’s foreign reserves and deprives citizens of job opportunities.
‘‘We must produce what we eat. We don’t have unlimited resources to continue the importation of food items that can be produced locally.
“Fortunately, some Nigerians have shown foresight by building factories that process agricultural products within the country.
‘‘They have created a value chain that boosts employment, protects our foreign reserves and safeguards the economy from external shocks.
“We will do all that we can to encourage others to join in the effort to achieve national self-sufficiency in food production,” President Buhari said.
The President said that his administration will also help and encourage Nigerian farmers to adopt modern, technology-driven methods that guarantee higher production and returns on investment.
President Buhari, who also received Mr. Paul Lehmann, the new High Commissioner of Australia, Hajiya Afsatu Olayinka Ebiso-Kabba, the new High Commissioner of Sierra-Leone and Thordur Aegir Oskarsson, the new Ambassador of Iceland, told them that Nigeria will welcome the further strengthening of relations with their countries, especially in the areas of agriculture, solid minerals and trade.
The President wished the four envoys, who were at the Presidential Villa to present their letters of credence to him, very successful tenures in Nigeria.