Buhari made the comment on Thursday, October 27, while giving a speech on plans for the development of the oil and gas industry at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

“The Petroleum industry remains critical to the Nigerian economy of today and the future, despite our current challenges,” Buhari said.

“The golden era of high oil prices may not be here now, but oil and gas resources still remain the most immediate and practical keys out of our present economic crisis.

“Oil and gas still remain a critical enabler for the successful implementation of our budget as well as the source of funds for laying a strong foundation for a new and more diversified economy.

“As important as it is to ensure that agriculture, solid minerals and other critical sectors of the economy are supported to grow and contribute more to the nation’s economy, we still need a virile and efficient oil and gas industry to take care of our foreign exchange requirements. This is a national imperative and a core thrust of our economic policy," he added.

Buhari also advised on the need for the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to maximize the potential of the sector despite the current economic challenges.