By John Ikani
Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari and Her Majesty, Maxima Zorreguieta, Queen of The Netherlands, have held a bilateral meeting on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) holding in New York, USA.
A statement issued by Presidential Spokesman Femi Adesina, revealed that Buhari during the closed-door meeting, sought interventions in Agriculture and other sectors of Nigeria’s economy.
The president told the Netherlands queen that he was doing his best to develop Nigeria, especially in the agricultural sector.
“People went back to the land, and this helped us tremendously. We made fertilizers available, resuscitated dams, and it all paid off handsomely. Otherwise, with about 200 million people, we would have been in trouble when COVID-19 struck and affected the economy,” Buhari said.
He said just like Oliver Twist, Nigeria could do with more help in investments, particularly in agriculture. The president further noted that Nigerian farmers were receptive to modern ways of doing things, especially cutting post-harvest waste.
While noting that Nigeria was well aware of her limitations, Buhari said his administration has prioritized the provision of infrastructure.
According to him, “Without infrastructure, development would be limited, so we put emphasis on building roads, rail, and power. We have a comprehensive plan, and we are doing our best.
He claimed that Nigeria was hampered by resources, despite being an oil-exporting nation and that with more financial wherewithal, his regime would speed up infrastructural development.
Buhari assured the queen, who last visited Nigeria in 2017, that she would see a lot of difference if she came again.
The queen said agriculture was music to her ears, being the daughter of a former Agriculture Minister. She pointed out that her biggest plea would be for Nigeria to make infrastructure available so that investors and aid donors could access areas beyond the major cities.
“We need roads, railways, digital financial inclusion for farmers. The government needs to digitise all payments,” Ms Zorreguieta noted.