Nigeria to reduce dependency on oil: Buhari

5th October 2015, Comments 0 comments

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday said Nigeria would reduce its dependency on oil and develop manufacturing and agriculture in order to create jobs and fight insecurity, his office said.

"Our government came into office at a time when many people had abandoned the country's manufacturing, agricultural and mining sectors," Buhari told a team of French investors in Abuja.

"We are doing our utmost best to encourage diversification into these sectors which can employ a lot of people and we will welcome your support in this regard," he said.

"Ultimately, reducing unemployment will also help to improve security because unemployment and insecurity are inseparable," he said.

Buhari who took office on May 29, said policies to boost domestic manufacturing and attract greater investment to agriculture and mining would be given priority in next year's budget.

He urged the French delegation comprising some 50 companies, to take advantage of the favourable business environment.

And he reassured them that the government was taking steps to tackle security challenges, especially in the restive northeast where a six-year Boko Haram insurgency has killed at least 17,000 people and forced some 2.5 million out of their homes.

French investors are in Nigeria to explore business and investment opportunities as well as to follow up on Buhari's visit to France last month.

Nigeria is Africa's largest oil producer and its biggest economy, with oil accounting for 90 percent of government revenue.

A global slide in oil prices since mid-2014 is hurting the economy with many states unable to pay salaries and several capital projects stalled.


© 2015 AFP

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