President Goodluck Jonathan says his administration is building three new refineries and revamping the existing ones to transform the country from an importer of petroleum products.
The President made this known on Saturday in his address to the nation on the occasion of its 51st independence anniversary.
He said his administration was committed to transforming Nigeria to the hub for exportation of value-added petroleum and petrochemical products, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
The President also said his administration was partnering with the private sector in the construction of world-scale petrochemical and fertiliser plants.
He said such would lead to effective utilisation of the nation’s abundant natural gas resources and boost employment generation.
In the efforts aimed at diversifying the economy, Jonathan said his administration had set out agricultural transformation action plans and policy measures to achieve self-sufficiency in the production of rice, cassava, maize, sorghum and other staple foods.
He said the agricultural transformation plan would generate 3.5 million jobs and produce 20 million tonnes of food.
In achieving all these, the President appealed to Nigerians to take pride in farming and consume locally produced agricultural products.
“We should eat what we produce. The increasing popularity of local products, like ‘Ofada rice’, ‘Badegi rice’, and ‘Abakaliki rice’, attest to the fact that the populace will readily embrace locally-grown produce.
“We must also take pride in our scientists. This week, Nigeria released eight new high yielding cocoa varieties.
“This will help to transform cocoa production across the 14 cocoa-producing states in the nation,’’ he remarked.
The President also emphasised his administration’s determination to ensure that Nigerians have reliable electricity to grow the economy.