President Muhammadu Buhari has justified Nigeria’s rising debt profile to fund infrastructure, saying loan for infrastructure will make Nigeria an attractive place for foreign investors.
Senior Special Assistant to the President, Garba Shehu disclosed that the President made this statement at a virtual meeting with members of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC) at the State House, in Abuja on Wednesday.
“We have so many challenges with infrastructure. We just have to take loans to do roads, rail and power, so that investors will find us attractive and come here to put their money,’’ the President said.
The President added that Nigeria must comply with its oil production quota from OPEC as the pandemic due to the “collapse of the oil market”.
“We have to accept that decision; otherwise they (Middle-East producers) can flood the market and make the product unviable. So, we have cooperated with what we get. With oil, we are in a difficult situation. The politics of oil is that the less you produce, the more you earn,” he said.
He explained that Agriculture is necessary for Nigeria to bounce back from the economic losses and called for Nigerians to venture into the sector.
“For us to bounce back to productivity, especially in agriculture, the unemployed with many of them uneducated had to be persuaded to go into agriculture.
‘‘If we hadn’t gone back to the lands we would have been in trouble by now. That is why we virtually stopped the importation of food thereby saving jobs and foreign exchange.
‘‘We are lucky we went back to the land. We eat what we produce. We are doing our best to secure the country and provide infrastructure for investment to be viable in the country,” he added.
The Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC) explained that recent reforms introduced by the government would impact the economy.
Some of the reforms are the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020 recently signed into law, the reforms in the energy sector, bringing electricity and fuel prices in line with the market, and the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria to merge the exchange rate of the naira versus other foreign currencies.