The Chairman Board of Directors, First Bank Limited, Mrs Ibunkun Awosika, has urged the Federal Government to diversify its economic resource into agriculture.
Awosika, who was the Guest Lecturer at the Agricultural and Rural Management Institute (ARMTI) made the call on Saturday in Ilorin during the 20th Annual lecture of the Institute.
Her Paper Presentation was entitled: “Promoting Agriprenuership in the Green Alternative,”.
She stated that agriculture is an alternative to the much depended economic resources derived from petroleum.
“Nigeria is blessed with a very fertile land, but it is saddening to know its youths are jobless,” she said.
According to her, the stability of Nigeria depends on the nation being able to sustain its citizens food production which she said would translate to social stability.
Awosika further said we all have the fundamental we needed to grow in agriculture, saying “we need to know the time of oil is long gone”.
Also speaking at the Lecture, the Discussant of the day, Mr Babatunde Ogunyemi, Managing Director of Thelma farms in Ijebu-Ode emphasized on the need for Nigerian youths to diversify into agriculture.
He said: ‘’On my 350 hecters of land in Ijebu-Ode where I grew fresh indigenous vegetable for exportation, I feel depressed that not enough is done in agriculture.
“Even with our huge production we can only meet just nine per cent of the demand.
“When I met with Mr President some weeks ago in Abuja, I told him that though Nigeria is winning the war against insurgency but how do we fight the war of feeding our citizens,” he said.
He asserts that Nigeria is over 180 million in its population and the number is likely to increase by five million yearly.
He added that this means we will be over 200 million in 5years time, “think of the consequences’’ he warned.
Earlier in his welcoming address, the ARMTI Dr Olufemi Oladunni, said it is our job to identify and overcome challenges in the Nigeria agricultural sector.
He explained that if government can overhaul the sector, and bring appropriate intervention, the sector will be life saver for the nation.
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