President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday urged the elite to help the country overcome its challenges.
The President spoke at a meeting with the outgoing President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Donald Kaberuka, who visited him at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.
According to him, the privileged and influential citizens clearly should do more now than in the past to help the country deal successfully with its economic and security problems.
“With the shock of falling oil prices, lack of revenues and insecurity, the Nigerian elite must now wake up and provide the right guidance in their communities, and also lead the economy on the right path more than they used to do,’’ the President said.
Buhari added that his administration would welcome more support from the AfDB for projects in versatile sectors, such as agriculture that could easily be explored to create more jobs.
“An impression has been erroneously created that we are a rich country but looking at the economic profile of the country today, you will see that that is not necessarily the case.
“Our social services have to be seriously rehabilitated. We need urgent attention on areas like education and health services, not only in the north eastern part of the country, but all round the country.
“We will fall back on institutions like the AfDB for support in generating employment. We have vast potentials in the agricultural sector that can be explored to create more jobs.
“We also have small businesses that need funds for expansion,’’ he further maintained.
The outgoing AfDB president said some development institutions, such as the World Bank, German Development Bank and the European Development Bank had indicated their readiness to provide long term loan facilities to small businesses in Nigeria.
Kaberuka assured the president that the AfDB would always support economic projects in Nigeria.
Dr Akinwunmi Adesina of Nigeria will replace the outgoing AfDB president in September.