President Muhammadu Buhari has conceded, unemployment in the country is severe more than ever in the country saying, it will be a key area of focus in this term of office. Buhari has also assured Nigerians his attention on the economy and deal with challenges squarely.
President Buhari who was re-elected for a second tenure has been speaking to Nigerians as he continues to receive congratulatory messages from civil society groups, Federal agencies and the international community.
On Friday, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) congratulated him on his re-election at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa. The United States Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, the United Kingdom Prime Minister, Theresa May and Turkish President, Tayyip Erdogan, also separately congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari, on his re-election.
Hosting the FEC members, the president said:
On the economy, unemployment is a problem of this country as a whole. More than 60 per cent of the youth need to be kept busy. I realised that God heard our prayers. It had been two good rainy seasons and we had the foresight to get the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Central Bank to try and give soft loans to farmers so that everybody that is educated and looking for white collar jobs and cannot get it, can go back to the land.
He president said he was well conscious of the herculean task ahead.
My last lap of four years, I think it is going to be tough because people are being forgetful. That was why wherever I went, I reminded them of the campaign promise of our party, particularly security, as I kept on saying that you have to secure the country well and institutions. If you don’t secure the country, you can’t achieve anything no matter how many programmes you put in place.
Buhari was thankful that the agriculture sector had helped a lot in strengthening the economy so far hoping that further investment in agriculture would be prudent considering the steady nature of rains. He particularly applauded Lagos, Ogun, Kebbi, Jigawa, and Ebonyi states for their notable roles in stopping rice importation through large scale rice cultivation.
We are lucky the rainy season had been good. I think we are also lucky that through the governors in some states like Lagos, Ogun, Kebbi, Jigawa, Ebonyi, in particular, we don’t import rice but we have savings from rice in terms of foreign exchange which we put in the budget and use for infrastructure. That is a very good thing because the oil sector is becoming very difficult to predict. It is becoming unpredictable and depending on it makes us materially insecure but thank goodness, agriculture has come to save it and people are appreciating it.