The President, Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Wednesday said that his regime is doing its best to develop the right infrastructure systems.
He said that Nigeria is aware of her limitations, hence the emphasis on building infrastructure.
Buhari said this on Wednesday during a bilateral meeting with Queen of The Netherlands, Maxima Zorreguieta, at the margins of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York, USA.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, disclosed this in a statement titled, ‘We knew our limitations, hence the priority on infrastructure, President Buhari tells Queen of Netherlands’.
He also said, “Without infrastructure, development would be limited, so we put emphasis on building roads, rail, and power. We have a comprehensive plan, and we are doing our best.”
He added that the country was hampered by resources, despite being oil-exporting, and that with more financial wherewithal, infrastructure works would be sped up.
Buhari assured the Queen, who last visited Nigeria in 2017, that if she returned, she would see a lot of differences.
Regarding agriculture, the President said Nigerian borders were closed with some neighbouring countries to encourage farmers, “and eat what we grow. People went back to the land, and this helped us tremendously. We made fertilizers available, resuscitated dams, and it all paid off handsomely. Otherwise, with about 200 million people, we would have been in trouble when COVID-19 struck and affected the economy.”
He said just like Oliver Twist, Nigeria could do with more help in the area of investments, particularly in agriculture.
“We have the land, we have the people, capital input is what we need,” the President stated, adding that Nigerian farmers were quite receptive to modern agriculture systems, especially in respect of reducing post-harvest waste.
In her remarks, Queen Zorreguieta lauded what she called “the huge effort” made by Nigeria to combat the Coronavirus pandemic, saying; “you spent a great part of your GDP.”
She said she had a huge commitment to Nigeria, “and will want to accompany her to do more. You won’t be alone. We will be there along with other partners.”
The Queen added that agriculture was music to her ears, being the daughter of a former Minister of Agriculture, and her biggest plea would be for Nigeria to make infrastructure available so that investors and aid donors can access areas beyond the major cities.
“We need roads, railways and digital financial inclusion for farmers. The government needs to digitize all payments,” she added.