President Muhammadu Buhari said late
Tuesday in Riyadh that his administration was
fully committed to increasing the productivity
of Nigeria’s agriculture and solid minerals
sectors to save the nation from the harsh
effects of lower crude oil prices.
Speaking at a meeting with leading members
of the Council of Saudi Arabia’s Chambers of
Commerce and Industry, President Buhari said
that with declining revenues from crude oil
exports, Nigeria’s hopes of economic
resurgence now lie in the rapid development of
its immense agricultural and solid mineral
Inviting Saudi Arabian businessmen to invest
in both sectors, the President said that his
administration will welcome greater foreign
investment in support of its efforts to rapidly
diversify the Nigerian economy.
President Buhari said that Nigeria had
regrettably depended too much on crude oil
exports to the neglect of other resources and
was now paying a harsh price for failing to
diversify its economy early enough.
“With the downturn in the global prices of oil,
we now have to prospect our solid minerals.
We have to return to agriculture. Mining and
agriculture are our hopes now. We will
welcome investments in these areas. We will
appreciate an in-flow of more resources and
expertise to help us achieve our objective of
economic diversification,” the President said.
The governors of Osun, Ogun, Katsina, Borno,
and Zamfara states, who were part of the
President’s delegation, took turns to address
the Saudi Arabian businessmen on investment
possibilities in their states, assuring them of
good returns.
The Chairman of the Council of the Saudi
Arabian Chambers of Commerce and Industry,
Dr Abdulrahman Al Zamil said that agriculture
was a very important area of investment for
its members, adding that they were already in
Brazil, the United States of America and
Sudan, “where we have huge farms.”
Declaring that they were willing to invest in
Nigeria, Dr Abdulrahman Al Zamil said that
the Saudis were the leading investors in Egypt,
Morocco, Tunisia, Kenya and Ethiopia.


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