Sunday, 21 February 2016


President Muhammadu Buhari said on Saturday that the priority of his
administration is to ensure national food security before export of
food products.

The President said this while contributing to a Presidential Panel
Roundtable on Investment and Growth Opportunities at the opening
session of the Africa 2016: Business for Africa, Egypt and the World
at Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

President Buhari stressed that Nigeria being a mono-economy dependent
on oil, and with a teeming unemployed youth population, the way out of
the current slump in the global oil market, is for the administration
to focus on agriculture and solid minerals development. "The land is
there and we need machinery inputs, fertilizer and insecticides," he

Reiterating his opposition to the devaluation of the naira, President
Buhari said Nigeria cannot compete with developed countries which
produce to compete among themselves and can afford to devalue their
local currencies.

"Developed countries are competing among themselves and when they
devalue they compete better and manufacture and export more. But we
are not competing and exporting but importing everything including
toothpicks. So, why should we devalue our currency?" the President

According to him, "We want to be more productive and self-sufficient
in food and other basic things such as clothing. For our government,
we like to encourage local production and efficiency." He added that
those who have developed taste for foreign luxury goods should
continue to pay for them rather pressure government to devalue the

President Buhari, who expressed optimism that Nigeria would get out of
its current economic downturn, noted that another major problem
militating against economic revival is the huge resources deployed
towards fighting insurgency and international terrorism. He, however,
commended the support being received from the international community
in the administration's fight against terrorism as well as cooperation
in tracing looted funds stashed away in foreign countries.

Responding to a question on his performance since he assumed office,
the President said that his administration has been quite focused on
three fundamental issues of securing the country, reviving the economy
and stamping out corruption.

"The message on corruption has been driven home vividly and Nigerians
are very acceptable to the message," he said, adding that those
accused of stealing public funds are cooperating by voluntarily
providing useful information while investigations and prosecutions are

In his opening address at the Forum, the Egyptian President,
Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, said Africa needs to concentrate on transforming
into knowledge societies using innovation and research. The Presidents
of Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Sudan and the Prime Minister of Ethiopia
also participated at the Roundtable.

In his opening message, the President of the African Development Bank
(ADB), Akinwumi Adesina, said that "Africa must think big, act big and
develop big."

Before departing Egypt, President Buhari and his Egyptian host, had a
bilateral discussion on security, military cooperation, agriculture
and solid minerals development.

Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity)
February 20, 2016.

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