President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday in Monrovia, Liberia, received the country’s highest award, and expressed his resolve to continue to strengthen cooperation within the West African sub region.
Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s spokesman, who confirmed this development in a statement in Abuja, said the president was honoured during the 172nd independence anniversary of the West African nation in Monrovia.
In a goodwill message to the Government and people of Liberia, President Buhari said he accepted the award on behalf of all Nigerians and “as a tribute to all our country men who paid the supreme price in aid of Liberia’s unity and stability’’.
“This gesture can only strengthen my resolve to rededicate myself to the service of my country, work for the prosperity of our people in the sub-region,’’ he said.
Buhari encouraged his Liberian counterpart to take decisive actions to further stimulate the economy of the country.
“Mr. President, Liberia under your leadership may wish to learn from our experience by taking courageous steps to diversify its economic base by developing the productive sector that would complement earnings from rubber, iron ore and the increasingly dwindling funds from Development Partners.
“In this regard, the need for proper management of human resources and investment in agriculture, solid minerals and other sectors such as tourism where the country has comparative advantage, cannot be overstated.”
According to the Nigerian leader, the Economic and Recovery Growth Plan launched by his administration in 2017 is creating the enabling environment for growth, security and economic revival.
He added that the administration had realized the futility in continuing to subject the Nigerian economy to the vagaries of its mono-product dependence and had instituted policies aimed at the diversifying the national economy which had been yielding positive results.
“Our government had to adopt appropriate measures including diversification and reforms to address such underlying causes exemplified by our continued dependence on a single-commodity, crude oil, lack of fiscal buffers, leakages, corruption and high governance costs.
“Furthermore, in our efforts to stimulate the economy, our government initiated bold policy interventions that are beginning to yield positive results.”
The Nigerian President, who was honoured with the “Most Venerable Order of the Knighthood of the Pioneers of the Republic of Liberia with Grade of the Knight Grand Cordon,” thanked the people of Liberia for the award.