President Muhammadu Buhari has said the crash in the oil price has suddenly made Nigeria poor.
President Buhari also regretted that the last one year had been very difficult for his administration.
He was speaking at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja on Thursday while receiving the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Executive Director and Under Secretary General of the United Nations, Professor Babatunde Osotimehin.
Buhari, however, said that despite severe shortage of resources, commitment to transparency and accountability was serving his government in good stead.
“It has been a very difficult year for Nigeria. Before we came to office, petroleum sold for about $100 per barrel. Then it crashed to $37, and now oscillates between $40 and $45 per barrel. Suddenly, we’re a poor country, but commitment to transparency and accountability is not making people know that there is severe shortage,” he said.
President Buhari appealed to the UNFPA to bear with Nigeria in whichever area the country could not live up to its responsibilities for now.
He noted that exploding population and different cultural practices in the country provided a fertile ground for research to organisations like the UNFPA.
President Buhari described the reports from the northeast of the country as encouraging as people were returning to their farmlands with the guarantee of relative security.
The president thanked the UNFPA for its commitment to saving lives in Nigeria, especially of women and children.
In his remarks, Osotimehin expressed the UNFPA’s determination to promote health care facilities across Nigeria.
He said maternal mortality could be reduced if Nigeria paid more attention to access to health facilities as well as human resources to run them.
Osotimehim, who enjoined Nigeria to provide resources for healthcare on a rollover basis, pledged that the UN would collaborate with the nation to provide humanitarian assistance not only in the northeast, “but even extended to the Lake Chad Basin.”
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