News Agency of Nigeria

Bassey Dan Abia, former Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has stressed the need for President Muhammadu Buhari to diversify the nation’s economy with emphasis to the non-oil sectors in his second term.

Abia made the assertion in a chat with newsmen in Lagos.

Abia, whose four-year tenure as the NDDC Managing Director was cut short by Buhari after his assumption of Nigeria’s presidency in 2015, listed the non-oil sectors to include agriculture, solid minerals, manufacturing, construction, tourism, among others.

While saying that the Buhari administration had in his first term stepped up efforts in “rejuvenating agriculture”, the lawyer-turned politician advised the President to sustain the momentum with incremental emphasis on cash crops for exports, “in order to diversify Nigeria’s foreign earnings from oil and gas resources.”

Hailing the re-election of the President as “a reflection of the wishes of a chunk of Nigeria’s populace and a clear confirmation of the faith of the electorate in his ability and integrity to lead the nation”, Abia, an All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain in Akwa Ibom State, added that “the second term mandate will afford the Buhari presidency the chance to consolidate on the gains already attained by the APC-led Federal Government.

He said: “The verdict (the election) reflects the sovereign will of the people,” the former NDDC boss commended the country’s electoral management agency, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agencies for what he described as “one of the very few credible and peaceful elections in Nigeria.”

Meanwhile, apparently refering to APC’s poor outing in the Presidential and National Assembly elections in Akwa Ibom State, Abia, who lost to NDDC’s successor, Nsima Ekere, for the party’s governorship ticket in the state, urged party faithful not to be deterred by the outcome of the elections in the state, but, should gear up with for success at Saturday’s governorship and state legislative elections in the state.

He also advised Buhari’s opponents in the last presidential election to put “competitive politics aside” and join forces with the president to move the country to ‘Next Level’.

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