Danish PM expresses investors’ interest in agric sector
Tobi Soniyi in Washington DC
President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday in Washington DC assured Nigerians in the Diaspora of his administration’s determination to move the country forward as quickly as possible.
Speaking at an audience with a group of Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in various professions in the United States, Buhari said his administration was fully committed to correcting the errors that had hindered Nigeria’s progress as a nation.
“We are working diligently to correct our mistakes as a nation. We will rehabilitate and expand national infrastructure, and move forward as quickly as possible,” the President said, adding, “We are determined to get things done properly this time and God willing, we shall succeed.
Buhari also said his administration would maintain contacts with Nigerian professionals in the Diaspora and see how they could be best placed to contribute effectively to national development if they chose to come back home.
The president congratulated the five Nigerians he met with for their exceptional accomplishments, saying that he was very proud of them all.
The Nigerians received by President Buhari included Prof. Austin Esogbue, the only African to have served on the board of the United States’ National Aeronautical Space Agency; Jelani Aliyu, a leading car designer with General Motors; Prof. Nwadiuto Esiobu, a renowned Microbiologist and Biochemist; Dr. Yemi Badero, an Assistant Professor of Medicine; and 13-year old Muriel Oduwole, who had interviewed 18 world leaders.
In another development, the Prime Minister of Denmark, Mr. Lars Rasmussen, has said investors from his country were interested in investing in the agricultural sector in Nigeria.
Rasmussen, who spoke at a bilateral meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Washington D.C., on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit, however said the Federal Government must put the right policies and conditions in place.
“We are quite experienced in agriculture. It is an area in which we can cooperate. If you pave the way and remove the obstacles, we will like to come in,” the Prime Minister told Buhari.
Rasmussen’s response followed an invitation by Buhari to him for investors in the agricultural and solid minerals sectors of the Nigerian economy.
Earlier, Buhari had reiterated the determination of his administration to significantly reduce the very high bill for importation of food products to Nigeria.
The president also reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to the rapid diversification of Nigeria’s economy.
“We developed a mono-product economy and lost opportunities to diversify in the past.
“We have great potentials for agriculture and solid minerals. We are now determined to exploit them to the fullest. Addressing the past neglect of these two sectors will help to reduce unemployment and make us a more productive country.
“We will welcome more investment in our agriculture and solid minerals sectors from countries with expertise in the two sectors. We abandoned them for petroleum. Now, we have to go back.
“Our bill for the importation of food and dairy products is very high. We want to cut it as much as possible by developing our local potentials,” the president told Rasmussen.
Buhari assured the Danish Prime Minister that the Federal Government would continue to work in partnership with other countries to further improve maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea.
The president said his administration was determined to stop the huge loss of revenue from crude oil theft and has received assurances of international support to curb illegal shipments of Nigeria’s crude oil.
Remarking that his country was a major shipping nation, Rasmussen thanked Buhari for Nigeria’s current efforts to enhance security in the Gulf of Guinea.
He assured the President that Danes would be very interested in investing in the development of Nigeria’s agricultural sector if the right policies and conditions were put in place.