President Muhammadu Buhari said, on Thursday, that Nigerians were suffering today because of the sudden drop in the price of crude oil in the international market.
The President, who stated this while playing host the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, and United Nations’ Under-Secretary-General, Prof. Babatunde Osotimehin, in Abuja, however, said his administration’s commitment to transparency and accountability was serving the country in good stead, despite severe shortage of resources in the country.
He said: “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.”
Asking UNFPA to bear with Nigeria in whichever area the country could not live up to its responsibilities at present, the President said exploding population and different cultural practices in the country provided fertile ground for research to organizations such as UNFPA.
He thanked the UN agency for its commitment to saving lives in Nigeria, particularly of women and children. On food security, President Buhari said reports from the North-East of the country were encouraging, saying people were returning to their farmlands, with the guarantee of relative security.
Prof Osotimehin, a former Minister of Health in Nigeria, said UNFPA was determined to promote health care facilities across the country, noting that reduction of maternal mortality was achievable, if the country paid more attention to access to health facilities, and had the human resources to run them.
He also encouraged the federal government to commit to providing resources for health care, on a rollover basis, and pledged that the UN would work with the country to provide humanitarian assistance not only in the North-East, but also the Lake Chad basin.”