President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said under his leadership, Nigerians must produce what they eat.
He said the nation did not have what he called unlimited resources to continue the importation of food items that could be produced locally.
The President spoke while granting audience to the new Bulgarian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Vesselin Delcher, who was at the Presidential Villa, Abuja to present his letters of credence.
According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President told his guest that his administration would vigorously implement policies that would revive Nigeria’s agricultural sector and reposition it as the mainstay of the nation’s economy.
He added that his administration would 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.
He said, “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.”
Buhari added that his administration will also help and encourage Nigerian farmers to adopt modern, technology-driven methods that guarantee higher production and returns on investment.
The President , who also received the new High Commissioner of Australia, Mr. Paul Lehmann; the new High Commissioner of Sierra-Leone, Hajiya Afsatu Ebiso-Kabba; and the new Ambassador of Iceland, Thordur Aegir Oskarsson, told them that Nigeria will welcome the further strengthening of relations with their countries, especially in the areas of agriculture, solid minerals and trade.
He wished the four envoys, who were at the Presidential Villa to present their letters of credence to him, successful tenures in Nigeria.