President Muhammadu Buhari said that Nigeria could not afford to continue importing rice and other food items which it has the capacity to produce in commercial quantities. He stressed that the diversification of the economy was a necessity.

Speaking, Tuesday, in Birnin Kebbi, while launching the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme and the commencement of the dry season farming in the state, Buhari stated that the dwindling oil prices in the international market has made it compulsory for his government to diversify the economy and intensify effort at reinvigorating agriculture.

“The importance of agriculture in the economy can not be over emphasised. Prior to the advent of oil, our country‎ survived on agriculture production.”

“During this period, the economy our sub region was built ‎on agricultural activities and our gross domestic product grew steady.

“The discovery of oil was expected to compliment our agriculture productivity. But we allowed oil to almost completely‎ replaced it. Our current trend at the international oil market had brought to fore the urgent need to diversify both the productive and revenue based of our economy and to conserve our foreing reserve by limiting our apetite for imporation of goods that we can easily produce locally,” the president said.

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