President Muhammadu Buhari has declared that the economy is taking shape under his two-year administration.
He therefore gave his administration a passmark and hinged the rating on the appreciable growth of the economy during the period.
Buhari spoke in Kaduna on Tuesday when he commissioned Olam Farm, a joint venture with the Kaduna State government for the production food and agriculture inputs.
The President noted that “in spite of all odds, economic growth is taking place, especially in the agricultural sector. The commissioning of this massive facility is therefore a living testimony to our claim that growth, serious and lasting growth, is taking place in our economy.”
He said that the development was in fulfilment of the promise he made to Nigerians at the inception of his administration when he came in “to deal with the challenges in the economy which were almost appearing insurmountable.”
However, he stressed that “growth in any society can only last if it begins at the grassroots.”
Buhari said that by the article of faith, “it is our earnest belief that agriculture offers the most viable and all-encompassing option in our attempt to diversify our economy as a nation.”
The President therefore charged Nigerians to strive to “grow what we need to eat before we can comfortably turn our attention to many of the other key concerns of our daily lives.”
He recalled that: “About six months ago, we announced to the world that we were in a recession, we were bold enough to admit it and honest about it, though painful it was to admit.
“When the National Bureau of Statistics presented a grim picture of this state of affairs, we accepted the reality and confronted it headlong with courage and perseverance. Now, a few months down the road, the Bureau of Statistic has released the cheering news that we are getting out of recession.
“Even though the statistics are still hazy and we have no illusion that we need to even work harder to get to that economic level that is satisfactory, we are happy to note and we believe that the majority of Nigerians are also happy that we are getting out of possibly the worse economic scenario in our country’s history.
“Given this positive development and with the gradual recovery of our economy, we think the great signs of growth and prosperity for this country are at hand. We are also aware that the pessimists in our midst may be reluctant to admit that positive development is occurring in the economic space for obvious reasons. Evidently, the undeniable reality is that we are getting out of the woods”.
Earlier, Governor Nasir el-Rufai told the President that the state government had given Olam free land to build the plant, adding that “we spent over N500 million as compensation to the land owners.”
According to him, the commissioning of the project was based on a careful investment study and interaction with the leadership of the company.
The plant will produce 1.6 million chicks weekly and create about 50,000 jobs.
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