President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday blamed the harsh economic situation currently faced by Nigerians on the mistakes the country made in the past.
Buhari noted that though the country was blessed with numerous resources, it allowed herself to be confined to a mono economy by paying too much attention on petroleum to the detriment of viable cash crops like cocoa, groundnut, palm oil, palm kernel and hides and skin.
The President spoke shortly after inaugurating the Edo University, Iyamho in the Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State as part of his two-day official visit to the state.
He also took a tour of the facilities, including the administrative complex and the Faculty of Science building of the institution, which are named after him.
He was accompanied by Governor Adams Oshiomhole; his Lagos State counterpart, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode; the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun; the Governor-elect, Edo State, Godwin Obaseki; and officials of the Federal Government.
Buhari said, “We are blessed with human and material resources. We have made terrible mistakes in allowing ourselves to be cornered into a mono economy and we are now paying dearly for our mistakes.
“Nigeria saved the money from cocoa, palm oil, palm kernel, groundnut, hides and skin and even started the professional development of petroleum.
“Once petroleum was discovered and developed in quantity, we threw everything to the dogs. Now, petroleum is diving from an average of $100 per barrel in the last 12 years to between $40 and $50 and we are paying for it.