Okwe Obi, Abuja
Despite doubts on the Federal Government’s plan to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next ten years, Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Senator George Akume said it is realistic.
Akume who said the jobs would be created through agriculture, added that the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in agriculture is more than oil.
The Minister who spoke when Slovenian Ambassador to Nigeria, Peter Holasek, paid him a courtesy call yesterday in Abuja, added that government would partner Slovakia in the assembling of tractors in Nigeria.
“This government is determined to create more employment for our people. Not only that, we want to lift as many as 100 million people out of poverty in the next ten years. This is a very ambitious plan but it is do-able because the political will is there.
“We believe in free market and comprehensive social security. It is a perfect way of balancing nation so that all are brought on board. It is also an inclusive way of running the government.
“We want to thank your government for maintaining cordial relationship with Nigeria. We expect this to continue.
“All we want is the business agreement that has been written should be signed. I assure that I will take it up with my colleague in the ministry of foreign affair.
“There is so much we can learn from you in the area of agriculture. Nigeria’s economy is basically agric-driven. Forget about the oil. The GDP in agriculture is higher and when you look at the huge country with a population of over 200 million people you will accept the fact that what we produce per day is not enough and the price is not enough. And that is why government is diversifying.
“I am interested in the tractors you talked about and we are interested and look forward at a time your country will assemble these tractors in Nigeria.
On his part, Ambassador Holasek noted that his country would continue to partner Nigeria in agriculture, adding that the issue of assembling tractors in Nigeria would be looked into
“This could be an idea. We need to reach a centre stage to first of cooperation in the trade of assembling tractors in Nigeria,” he said.