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Nigeria is a poor country – Buhari

By The Citizen
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President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the prudence and accountability employed by his administration in managing the nation's affairs are creating the impression of prosperity whereas reverse was the case.

The president stated that Nigeria was a poor nation and was in severe shortage of resources. But he said that the commitment to transparency and accountability were paying off.

The President spoke Thursday at State House, Abuja, while receiving the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Executive Director and Under Secretary General of the United Nations, Professor Babatunde Osotimehin.

'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,'he said.

Asking UNFPA to bear with Nigeria in whichever area the country could not live up to its responsibilities for now, President Buhari said exploding population and different cultural practices in the country provide fertile ground for research to organizations like UNFPA.

The President however thanked the UN agency for its commitment to saving lives in Nigeria, particularly of women and children. On food security, President 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.

A statement by his media aide, Mr. Femi Adesina stated that Professor Osotimehin who was also a former Minister of Health in Nigeria, 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 commit 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.'