The Federal Government on Tuesday apologised to Nigerians over the current harsh economic condition they have been subjected to.
Audu Ogbeh, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, who tendered the apology at an event in Abuja, said undoubtedly that Nigerians have been groaning under the pangs of harsh economic realities occasioned by fall in the price of crude oil.
Addressing participants at the event, Ogbeh said, “It is fantastic to see you here. When a country is in trouble, there are different ways of reacting.
“And we are in trouble. One of the most obvious ways of reacting is through anger, irrationality or even violence.
“Every country gets its trouble from time to time, even the most developed countries. That is not an excuse for where we are.
“But Nigeria is in trouble. Our economy is down. Nigerians are hungry. We have all kinds of trouble.
“As Mr. President said, when he signed the budget, he said ‘I feel your pains’.”
“You can imagine we all feel very bad the way things are. The cost of food is high. It is difficult to pay school fees.
“The power is epileptic because pipelines are getting blown up. But whenever we are in trouble, it is time to think.
“Lamentations and anger cannot solve the problems. Events like this will solve the problems. We have the will to solve the problems.
“Now that the oil revenue has dropped, Nigeria is broke. I know how unhappy many Nigerians are today because of the twist in the economy, I may dare to apologise to Nigerians.
“This hardship is definitely not imposed by the government out of the desire to make Nigerians to suffer.
“There is a history to these events but we are not dwelling on them. We want to improve this situation we are in.”
He stated that the present conflicts across the country cannot resolve the myriads of problems confronting the country, adding that government has the will to solve the problems plaguing the country.
He noted that out of the 84 million hectares of land in Nigeria that the nation has been able to utilise about 40 percent of the land for cultivation.
The minister lamented that despite the huge land mass that Nigeria is blessed with, the nation spends about $20 billion annually in the importation of food items to feed her citizenry.