President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria is paying dearly for incompetence in managing high revenue that accrued from oil, particularly over the past decade, and for allowing the decay of critical infrastructure.
Speaking at the State House, Abuja, Monday, while receiving the Chief Global CEO of Unilever, Mr Paul Polman, the President said his administration is working very hard to change the structure of the Nigerian economy battered by several years of mismanagement.
''We refused to save for the rainy day. Now the rain is beating us. No money, no savings, nothing. And we are thoroughly wet from the rains," he said.
President Buhari said Nigeria was paying the price for turning herself into a mono economy, but assured that the country would soon be able to feed herself, and even export, with the current emphasis placed on agriculture.
He assured that the Federal Government would fast-track the implementation of strategies to ease doing business and attract more investors into Nigeria.
"We want to create jobs, and supporting manufacturing is one way to do it. As soon as we have stabilized our budget, I would personally be interested in the manufacturing sector, particularly in the generation of essential raw materials," the President said.
The Chief Global CEO of Unilever said the conglomerate had been in Nigeria for 93 years, making it the oldest manufacturing concern in the country.
"Our products are more Nigerian than other Nigerian brands. Despite the economic downturn, there are opportunities to further advance our business here.
"The situation to invest and continue to invest here is very encouraging," Mr Polman said, adding that Unilever had invested about N15 billion in Nigeria in the past three years.
Other people present at the meeting were Yaw Nsarkoh and Igwe N. Achebe, Chairman Unilever Nigeria.