Nigeria’s new administration is geared to make agriculture one of the pillars of Africa’s largest economy.
President Muhammad Buhari’s deputy Yemi Osinbajo told CNBC Africa that the country needed to diversify beyond oil as the main revenue.
“Our focus is ensuring that we have an economy that is as diverse as possible, we have to move away from oil revenue being the main revenue,” said Osinbajo.
“Agriculture is going to be important on our diversification plan; we are looking at how to be self-sufficient with rice production and wheat over time. The federal government is working with seven states on rice production.”
Osinbajo added that his administration had inherited a number of challenges from the previous government of President Goodluck Jonathan.
“We are at a point where growth has slowed considerably and this has prompted us to introduce exchange control regime which has tried hard to control exchange remittances,” he added.
“We also had to deal with power challenges together with also manufacturing slowing down as well. We have also inherited public expenditure that was not transparent and efficiently run.”
Osinbajo said there was need for the country to tackle power shortages as this had a direct impact on growth.
“Power affects practically everything; we are marking sharp progress though we know we are nowhere close to where we want to be even by our projection. However, we have seen a gradual incremental improvement in generation,” he said.
“We need substantial investment in transmission.”
The deputy president says the current administration is also working on revenue generation.
“We know that if taxes are efficiently collected that will increase revenue substantially,” he said.
“We also working on the Treasury Singular System which will help monitor how much government has. We are also working on a new electronic payroll system which will help wipe out ghost workers.”