Diversification of Nigeria’s economy urgent, says Buhari

Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria, arrives for a working dinner at the White House March 31, 2016 in Washington, DC. World leaders are gathering for a two-day conference that will address a range of issues including ongoing efforts to prevent terrorist groups from accessing nuclear material. / AFP PHOTO / Olivier Douliery

Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Guangzhou, China said his administration would take urgent steps to restructure Nigeria’s economy by encouraging new investments in mining, agriculture and manufacturing.

The President, who stated this at a reception in his honour by the Communist Party of China, said Nigeria would welcome the support of the Chinese government, foreign investors and local businesses for efforts to diversify the country’s economy.

A statement issued in Abuja by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, quoted the President as saying that the diversification of the Nigerian economy was long overdue, as continued reliance on crude oil exports had always made the economy vulnerable to shocks.

“This time we will be more deliberate. The government and businesses will be involved,” Buhari said.In his remarks, the Secretary of the Communist Party, who is also the Governor of the Guangdong Province, Mr. Hu Chinhua, pledged that the region would support the implementation of all the bilateral agreements reached with the Chinese government during Buhari’s visit.

The statement added that Buhari also visited the Sino-Singapore Knowledge City in Guangzhou, “which showcases advancements by China in medical, science and technological inventions.”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported Shehu as saying the President has expressed satisfaction with the outcome of his working visit to China, which he said yielded additional investments to Nigeria exceeding $6billion.

Buhari said the several agreements concluded with the Chinese would have a huge and positive impact on key sectors of the Nigerian economy, including power, solid minerals, agriculture, housing and rail transportation.

“In the power sector, North South Power Company Limited and Sinohydro Corporation Limited signed an agreement valued at $478,657,941.28 million for the construction of 300 megawatts solar power in Shiriro, Niger State.”

“In the solid minerals sector, Granite and Marble Nigeria Limited and Shanghai Shibang signed an agreement valued at 55 million dollars for the construction and equipping of granite mining plant in Nigeria.”

According to the statement, a total of $1billion is to be invested in the development of a greenfield expressway for Abuja-Ibadan-Lagos under an agreement reached by the Infrastructure Bank and Sinohydro Corporation Limited.

It further said that both companies also sealed a $250 million deal to develop an ultra modern 27-storey high-rise complex and a $2.5 billion agreement for the development of the Lagos Metro Rail Transit Red Line project.

Other agreements announced and signed during the visit, according to the statement, include a $1billion facility for the establishment of a Hi-tech industrial park in Ogun-Guangdong Free Trade Zone in Igbesa, Ogun State.

The statement said that the Ogun-Guangdong Free Trade Zone and CNG (Nigeria) Investment Limited also signed an agreement valued at 200million dollars for the construction of two 500MT/day float gas facilities.

It further stated that an agreement, valued at $363 million for the establishment of a comprehensive farm and downstream industrial park in Kogi State was also announced at the Nigeria-China business forum.

In addition, agreements undergoing negotiations include a $500 million project for the provision of television broadcast equipment and a $25 million facility for production of pre-paid smart meters between Mojec International Limited and Microstar Company Limited.

According to the statement, about 100 Nigerian businesses and 300 Chinese firms participated in the Nigeria-China business forum, which took place a day after Buhari began his v isit to China.

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  • Damilola

    Anyone cud bet this wud be d same campaign tune of this man by 2019, without any tangible diversification yet.

  • WhichWayNigeria(WWN)

    The minister’s assertion that over reliance on oil as the single source of revenue is the sole reason why Nigerian economy has hit rock bottom is both myopic and naive. The Nigerian problem is the Nigerian question, the Nigerian system is rigged to fail, and no amount of campaign or slogan on “economy diversification” can work until Nigeria is restructured along regional lines, and greater autonomy giving to each region to develop its own “Marshall Plan” in line with its unique regional interest and aspiration. Mrs. Kemi Adeosun believes investors will eventually come in droves because the nation has “young growing population, rich resources, and a government determined to finally get it right,” its a laughable assumption and shallow thinking. Here are the reasons why Nigeria cannot attract investors, Boko Haram wants full fledged sharia in North-East and North-West, South-South and South-East wants to opt of Nigeria for an independent Biafra, North-Central is plagued by sectarian, ethnic and religious conflict and besieged by Fulani herdsmen terrorist terrorizing the region, South-West is plagued with internal political conflict and division and their politicians in the Federal government are busy looting the nation treasury, and the so-called unemployed “area-boys” in South-West are extorting money from business owners, Lagos state government make sure it demolishes business worth trillions because the owners are foreign and extorts high taxes, these are the reasons why Nigeria cannot diversify or attract investment in Nigeria, because the country is besieged with so much conflict that no sensible person will risk his wealth or life to invest in Nigeria.

    So, we argue that things can be done better. Nigerian structure is rigged to fail, that is the first truth that must be told. If the foundation is right, then the structure can stand and built according to any design you want it. Recommendations has been made over and over again, and the consistent verdict is that the Country must be partitioned along regional governments that will allow for greater regional autonomy, but Federal oversight. What that means is this, if Muslim dominated North-East or North-West wants to borrow money from an Islamic Bank to develop its region, they should have the freedom to do so without their Southern regions opposing it because of religious beliefs, and if the South-East and South-South wants to have an economic ties with the State of Israel, the Northern Muslim should not stop it because it does not like the nation of Israel, that way each region has freedom to pursue its economic interest without hindrance or interference by any region or from the Federal government. Internal security will be in the domain of each region, while the Federal government will concentrate its energy on external threats and security, and ONLY by the invitation of Regional Government can assist in internal security if need be. Without guaranteed internal Security, Peace and Order, no sensible person will risk his life or resources to invest in a nation plagued with constant internal strife and violent that has been part of Nigerian DNA for ages. So not until Peace has become the order of the day will diversification of economy becomes possible, and investors will be knocking at your door, instead of the current situation where President Buhari is currently occupying the first position and has breaking world record in “Marathon Race” and is now adjudged to be most traveled President in world history both in Peacetime or Wartime. Yes, I believe the window of “Change” is still open and possible but not by electing Buhari as the President, but perhaps, for Buhari to help make the inevitable become possible, and that is, if he has the “Political Will” to restructure Nigeria along Regional System of Governments, and help save Nigeria from eminent collapse if indeed he loves Nigeria.