Nigeria is rich in petroleum resources, but the challenges confronting the country are so enormous as to render the oil earnings insignificant, President Muhammadu Buhari has said.
The president spoke Thursday at State House, Abuja, while receiving in farewell audience the Cuban Ambassador to Nigeria, Carlos Trejo Sosa, who has been here for five years.
President Buhari said he was pleased with relations between Cuba and Nigeria, particularly the hand of fellowship extended in the area of health care and transfer of knowledge, among others.
“We have deficit in infrastructure, in education, health care, and many other areas, but Cuba has always been helpful. What we earn from oil does not meet our needs, and we can use any assistance we get. Cuba has always been friendly and helpful,” the president said.
President Buhari said whether in uniform or out of it, he had always been glad to collaborate with Cuba, and hoped relations between the two countries will wax stronger.
Ambassador Sosa said his five years and nine days in Nigeria were filled with “warmth, love and friendship,” adding that he would never forget the country.
“I am not just being polite, I mean every word. We appreciate Nigeria a great deal,” he said.
At a separate meeting, Mr Buhari said investments cannot thrive in an atmosphere of social and political instability, so, the federal government would do all within its powers to safeguard the interest of investors.
The president spoke at State House, Abuja, Thursday, while playing host to the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of Total Group Worldwide, Patrick Pouyanne.
Mr Buhari said: “The relationship between us and Total has been long and mutually beneficial. We want it to remain so. We have to be honourable, honest, and work together, so that we can improve. At our end, we promise social and political stability, so that you can recover your investments. It’s our duty as government, and we will do it, so that we can maintain mutual confidence in each other.”
Mr Pouyanne disclosed that apart from oil and gas, which is its core activity, Total was also willing to develop the solar power potentials of Nigeria.
“Our portfolio is large. We have many more projects to come. The prospects for Nigeria in oil and gas remain huge. More developing activities are possible, and we need to keep the momentum, and commit more investments to Nigeria,” he said.
Special Adviser to the President
(Media and Publicity)