He said the country made what he called a terrible mistake by relying solely on oil.
According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President spoke while receiving the outgoing Iranian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Saeed Koozechi, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He reaffirmed that his administration was fully committed and determined to do all within its power to achieve the rapid diversification of Nigeria’s economy in the shortest possible time.
Buhari said he was convinced that with diligence, hard work and determination to achieve self-sufficiency, Nigeria could produce most of the items currently on its import list.
The President added, “We made a terrible mistake by becoming a mono-product economy, hinged on oil and we are now in a volatile situation due to the crash in oil prices.
“We have seen the benefits of diversification, which helped Iran to survive many years of sanctions and still come out strong.
“We are now fully committed to economic diversification. Most of the things on our import bills can be produced here; and we are determined to achieve that self-dependency.”
At a separate audience with the outgoing Chinese Ambassador, Mr. Gu Xiaojie, the President gave an assurance that the Federal Government would continue to do its best to meet its obligations under bilateral agreements with China for the development of critical infrastructure in Nigeria.
The President reiterated his commitment to the completion of the Mambilla Power Project, which, he said, was of great strategic importance to his government’s efforts to ensure that Nigeria did not become over-reliant on gas-powered electricity generation.
The President commended the outgoing ambassadors for their efforts to strengthen bilateral relations between Nigeria and their countries during their tenure in Abuja.