President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed regrets over Nigeria’s failure in the last 16 years to develop critical infrastructure that would have stabilised the economy despite the oil boom.
The president stated this yesterday when he received the president of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Dr. Bernard O. Aliyu, at the presidential villa, Abuja.
He said that for the greater part of the last 16 years, oil sold above $100 per barrel, but with the mismanagement and misplaced priority, the nation did not have much to show for it. Crude oil sold yesterday for about $36.6 per barrel at the international market.
The price of crude has continued to fall since April 2015.
According to the president, “in the First Republic, more enduring infrastructure was built with meagre resources.
But in the past 16 years, we made a lot of money without planning for the rainy day.
“We showed a lot of indiscipline in managing our economy and that is why we are where we are today. But this time round,we’ll do our best.”
Buhari declared the country is blessed with enormous potential necessary for growth.
“Nigeria needs to work on her potential, so that we don’t remain permanently at the level of potential,” he stated.
The president stressed the urgent need to ensure that the potential of the country are harnessed and used for the good of the country.
“If Ethiopia is sustained largely by her airline industry, we have greater potential here. But we must move out, engage with the rest of the world, as we need to re-establish the integrity of this country. We need to rebuild this country again,” Buhari added.
Aliyu, the Nigerianborn ICAO president, commended Buhari for strides on anti-corruption, and urged Nigeria to pay more attention to development of civil aviation “Civil aviation is a catalyst for economic development.
The level of aviation development in any country mirrors the economic development of that country,” Aliyu said.
The ICAO president pledged to support the development of the aviation industry in Nigeria, urging the country to improve on training and capacity development, aviation security, aerodromes and air navigation, runways, control towers, and terminal buildings, among others.