President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday said decades of neglect and resource mismanagement have led the nation into deep poverty and insecurity.
He said if the assets and resources available to Nigeria had been properly managed, the country would be prosperous and peaceful.
According to a statement Tuesday afternoon by his special adviser on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, the president spoke at the State House, Abuja, while receiving in audience the board of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, led by the Group Chairman, Emmanuel Ikazoboh.
The statement quoted the president as saying his government was not only determined to reverse the trend of squandermania and mismanagement, "we have made progress in some areas such as agriculture."
He appealed to Ecobank Transnational Incorporated to "institute a special fund to develop agriculture, which will cement your legacy as a bank that helped to transform this region's economic fortunes."
While stressing that the government remained committed to the goals of securing the country, inclusive economic growth and fighting corruption, Mr Buhari said Nigeria was in a unique position as the most populous and resource-rich nation on the African continent.
He said the resources would be harnessed and properly managed, to engender a prosperous and peaceful country.
Mr Buhari commended Ecobank for being active in promoting financial inclusion, noting that it is key to the government's diversification agenda.
Speaking on requests by the bank for decongestion of Apapa ports, and rebuilding of the transnational Lagos-Badagry-Seme road, Mr Buhari said "We are aware and are working in all those areas and by the grace of God, you will start seeing results during my second term in office."
Mr Ikazoboh said the Ecobank Group is in 36 countries in Africa and 40 globally.
The bank founded 30 years ago by the private sector entrepreneurs, has over 20 million customers, with over eight million of them in Nigeria.