Honest Head of State: Nigeria is broke, Buhari tells UN officials
Posted by African Press International on August 12, 2016
MOHAMMED MOMOH – Nation Correspondent in Abuja -1 | Ijumaa, Agosti 12, 2016
President Muhammadu Buhari has admitted to United Nations Population Fund officials that his country is broke and going through hard financial times due to ever dipping oil prices.
The west African nation, the world’s sixth largest oil producer, relies heavily on oil revenue, but the income from the natural resource has plummeted in the last one year causing severe foreign exchange scarcity.
President Buhari said Nigerians were suffering because of the sudden drop in the price of crude oil in the international market.
“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.”
However, President Buhari said his administration would not relent on its commitment to transparency and accountability.
The Nigerian leader poured his heart out when he received the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the UN Under-Secretary-General Babatunde Osotimehin in Abuja on Friday.
Besides the crisis on the international oil market, the resurgence of militancy in the south has greatly affected Nigeria’s production.
The destruction of oil and gas facilities by militants, including by a group calling itself the Niger Delta Avengers, has caused a dip in daily production from 2.5 million barrels to less than one million.
According to the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, the country produces only high value and low sulphur content light crude oil.
President Buhari pleaded with UNFPA to bear with Nigeria in areas where the country could not live up to its responsibilities.
He commended UNFPA for its commitment to saving lives in Nigeria, particularly of women and children.
Prof Osotimehin assured President Buhari of his agency’s continued support to healthcare facilities and nutritional development.
(Editing by Joel Muinde)
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