In a speech commemorating Nigeria's 56th independence anniversary, Buhari said efforts were ongoing to reduce the country's dependence on food importation as well as to halt corruption

Buhari said billions of naira were being pumped into agriculture and the rehabilitation of public infrastructure to jumpstart the economy, hoping the country would be able to become self-sufficient in staple foods by 2019.

“There are no easy solutions, but there are solutions nonetheless and the government is pursuing them in earnest.

“We are to repair our four refineries so that Nigeria can produce most of our petrol requirements locally, pending the coming on stream of new refineries. That way we will save $10 billion yearly in importing fuel,” he added.

The president acknowledged citizens had been hit by rising inflation -- now at 17.6 percent -- and festering unemployment worsened by the recession.

“Temporary problems should not blind or divert us from the corrective course this government has charted for our nation. We have identified the country’s salient problems and we are working hard at lasting solutions,” according to Buhari.

“To re-cap what I have been saying since the inception of this administration; our problems are security, corruption and the economy, especially unemployment and the alarming level of poverty.”

He said nothing would stop his anti-corruption campaign and added the “lawlessness” of militants bombing oil infrastructure in the Delta region would be opposed.

The opposition People's Democratic Party, which constantly criticizes Buhari’s handling of the economy, has yet to respond to the president's speech.

Nigeria gained political independence from Britain on October 1, 1960.

Anadolu Agency