President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday said his greatest desire for the nation’s economy, currently in recession, was to move from import-dependence to self-sufficiency.
Buhari spoke at the 22nd Nigerian Economic Summit with the theme, ‘Made in Nigeria’, which was held in Abuja.
“My greatest desire is that Nigeria moves from import-dependence to self-sufficiency in local production and becomes an export-led economy in goods and services,” he said.
The President said ‘made- in-Nigeria’ goods were at the heart of many efforts his administration was making to lead the country through “this troubled times and lay a firm foundation for the future.”
He reiterated his position that the country must diversify the economy so that it would never again have to rely on one commodity to survive.
He said it was necessary that the country produced the food its citizens ate, made its own textiles and produced most of the things its people used.
He added that it was important for Nigeria to create the right environment for the young to be able to benefit and create jobs through technology.
Buhari added, “This has been the commitment and the mandate of this administration and I have remained focused on it since the assumption of this administration.
“There is clearly no better way to achieve this without building our economic foundation of Made-in-Nigeria goods and services.
“Fortunately, we have champions of made-in- Nigeria products that have defied the odds over the years to produce locally and contribute to our economy.”
Buhari said his administration was working hard to get more local production, improve the ease of doing business, and enhance the transfer of technology and innovation capabilities.
He stated that the government was also keen on improving quality and standards, promoting export and changing old attitude and behaviours to made-in-Nigeria products and services.
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, in his opening remarks, urged the members of the private sector to take the front seat in repositioning the economy.
Udoma said, “To the private sector participants here gathered, let me say that to whom much is given, much is expected.
“Having conceded that you are the engine of development, those of us in government expect to see that engine firing from all cylinders; and that is the challenge that I throw to all you captains of industry gathered here today.”