Sole dependence on oil is a “terrible mistake” – President Buhari says


President Muhammadu Buhari, while lamenting the current economic crisis in the country, described the sole dependence on oil as the mainstay of the economy as a “terrible mistake.”

He said his administration will, in the shortest time possible, do everything necessary to rapidly diversify the economy.

According to a statement issued by Femi Adesina, the President’s spokesman on Wednesday, May 25, Buhari stated this in his farewell message to the  outgoing Iranian ambassador, Saeed Koozechi.

“We made a terrible mistake by becoming a mono-product economy hinged on oil and we are now in a volatile situation, due to the crash in oil prices,” he said.

“We have seen the benefits of diversification which helped Iran to survive many years of sanctions and still come out strong. We are now fully committed to economic diversification.

“Most of the things on our import bills can be produced here. And we are determined to achieve that self-dependency,” the President said.

At a separate audience with the outgoing Chinese ambassador,Gu Xiaojie, Buhari gave an assurance that the federal government would strive to meet its obligations under bilateral agreements with China for the development of critical infrastructure in Nigeria.

He said the administration would uphold contractual agreements with Chinese companies for the development of essential infrastructure which it inherited from past administrations, saying the projects would be speedily completed.

The President also stressed his commitment to the completion of the Mambilla Power Project which, he said, is of great strategic importance to his government’s efforts to ensure that Nigeria does not become over-reliant on gas-powered electricity generation.