12 August 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – President Muhammadu Buhari has lamented the poor state of the economy which resulted from the global crash in oil prices, adding that only his administration’s commitment to transparency and accountability is serving the government in good stead despite the severe shortage of resources in the country.
A statement issued in Abuja on Thursday by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said Buhari spoke at the State House, Abuja while receiving the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Executive Director and the Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Prof. Babatunde Osotimehin.
President Buhari said the sudden fall in oil price in the international market has made Nigeria become a poor country.
The president said, “It has been a very difficult year for Nigeria. Before we came to office, petroleum sold for about $100 per barrel. Then it crashed to $37, and now oscillates between $40 and $45 per barrel. Suddenly, we’re a poor country, but commitment to transparency and accountability is not making people know that there is severe shortage.”
Asking UNFPA to bear with Nigeria in whichever area the country could not live up to its responsibilities for now, Buhari said exploding population and different cultural practices in the country provided fertile ground for research to organisations like UNFPA.
The President thanked the UN agency for its commitment to saving lives in Nigeria, particularly of women and children.
On food security, Buhari said reports from the North-East of the country were encouraging, as people were returning to their farmlands, with the guarantee of relative security.
Osotimehin, a former Minister of Health, said UNFPA was determined to promote health care facilities across the country, noting that reduction of maternal mortality was doable, if the country paid more attention to access to health facilities, and human resources to run them.
He also encouraged Nigeria to be committed to providing resources for health care, on a rollover basis, pledging that the UN would work with the country to provide humanitarian assistance not only in the North-East, “but even extended to the Lake Chad basin.”