President Muhammadu Buhari has said that Nigeria remains an oil-dependent nation despite promises by his government to wane the country off oil revenue alone.
He made the remarks during the Africa-Russia summit held in Sochi, Russia.
Buhari said, “Our economy is heavily dependent on foreign exchange on oil.
“With the result that our high Gross Domestic Product is not as a result of domestic sector productivity.
“Our government in the last four years has focused on diversifying our economy by supporting key job-creating sectors such as agriculture, mining and ICT.
“To achieve this, we invested aggressively in infrastructure development and introduced policies and programs that enhance our ease of doing business, reduce corruption in the public sector and enforce the rule of law.
“It is this inclusive economic diversification agenda that we want to forge a new Nigeria-Russia cooperation.
“Already, we are seeing progress in areas of power generation, solid minerals development and rail transportation and I hope this will be expanded to agriculture, manufacturing and other means of transportation.”
President Buhari commended Russia for the support rendered to Nigeria and the whole of Africa during the colonial era.
He added, “Since the collapse of the USSR in 1991, relations between Russia and African nations have lagged behind historical levels.
“The former Soviet Union had been a key partner of Africa.
“We all remember the strong support we received from the former Soviet Union in our anti-colonial struggles.
“Africa will continue to remember this, and many other significant gestures of solidarity and support that shaped our history as a continent.
“We are eternally grateful to the Soviet Union for coming to the aid of Africa in its hour of need.
“As we live in an increasingly changing world driven by trade, technology and innovation, the time has come to inject new energy and pragmatism in Africa-Russia relations for the mutual benefit of both Africa and Russia.”