While playing host to the United Nations Population Fund’s Executive Director and Under Secretary-General of the United Nations, Prof. Babatunde Osotimehin, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Thursday, President Buhari declared that the country is poor. He said the sudden drop of oil price in the international market is the cause of the suffering Nigerians are currently facing.
“UNFPA helps to ensure universal access to reproductive health including family planning and sexual health to all couples and individuals”, according the the organization’s website.
The president said that despite the challenges and shortage of resources in the country, his administration is committed to transparency and accountability, and serving the nation in good stead.
The President 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 are a poor country, but commitment to transparency and accountability is not making the people know that there is severe shortage”.
He thanked the agency for their continued efforts in saving lives in Nigeria and urged them to exercise patience with the country, in areas where the country have not met expectations. He said the enormous population of the country and different cultural practices is fertile ground for research for organizations like UNFPA.
He also expressed satisfaction on food security in the northeastern part of the country, as people are beginning to return to their farmlands.
UNFPA is determined to promote healthcare facilities in the country. Prof. Osotimehin said that mortality rates could be reduced if government pays more attention to health facilities and providing the man power to run them. He promised that the agency is ready to work hand in hand with the government.