Nigeria: Buhari to diversify economy from oil to agriculture, mining

Nigeria’s newly elected President, Muhammadu Buhari has pledged to shift attention from oil to the agricultural and mining sectors to create jobs. Buhari said this last month while receiving Northern Elders led by Nigeria’s permanent representative at the United Nations, Alhaji Maitama Sule. “In the economy, we have to quickly turn to agriculture and mining because that is where you can do the quickest work and earn results. In other areas, you need to study them and dust all the books and studies and get

people, experienced people, committed people, and technocrats to come and help the government.”

Buhari has the support of governors belonging to his party. The governors under the aegis of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) had met before their inauguration on May 29 for a one day pre- inaugural retreat.

According to the governors, running a mono economy dependent on oil has affected agriculture and other sectors which they said could become alternative national income earners. The decision followed a communique raised at the end of their retreat.

Underscoring the need for the diversification of Nigeria’s economy, part of the communique issued at the end of the retreat read that “the Nigerian economy needs to be diversified especially towards agriculture.”


· Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa (based on rebased figures announced by the country’s government in April 2014). It is ranked 26th in the world in terms of GDP, and is expected to become one of the 20 largest economies in the world by 2020.

· Nigeria has one of the world’s highest economy growth rate, averaging 7.4 per cent according to the Nigeria economic report released in July 2014 by the World Bank.

· The first oil well in Nigeria was drilled by Edwin L. Darke in 1859 to 1956 when oil was first discovered. Currently, the country produces only about 2.7 per cent of the world’s oil supply

· Nigeria, once a large net exporter of food, now imports a large quantity of its food products.

· Nigeria has the following industries: crude oil, coal, tin, columbite, palm oil, peanuts, cotton, rubber, wood, hides and skins, textiles, cement and other construction materials, food products, footwear, chemicals, fertilizer, printing, ceramics, steel, small commercial ship construction and repair.