Prof. Hafiz Abubakar, former Deputy Governor of Kano State, says insecurity in the country can be tackled with the adoption of agriculture-based economic diversification.
He said the adoption of such economic diversification required clear guidance and responsibilities by all stakeholders.
Abubakar made the call when he delivered the 10th convocation lecture of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU), in Abia.
Abubakar, a Visiting Professor at the National Universities Commission, noted that strong political will was required to develop and implement policies and strategies for the country’s economic diversification.
“To accommodate a growing number of young people entering the labour market, Nigeria will need to create at least five million new jobs each year over the next decade.
“Based on experience of other countries, embracing open trade and competition would help to diversify the economy and reinvigorate growth, particularly as the African Continental Free Trade Area takes effect,’’ he said.
Prof. Abubakar, also former Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Bayero University, Kano, said also that for Nigeria to move closer to unlocking its full agriculture potential, agricultural value chain has to be identified, mapped, prioritised and digitised.
He charged the MOUAU to lead research in the identification, mapping and deepening of agricultural value chain.
The professor also urged the university to explore the triple helix model (Academia-Industry-Government) partnership to build a model agricultural foods value chain for self-sufficiency and national orientation.
Prof. Abubakar’s lecture was entitled: “Managing national security and diversification of Nigeria’s economy through agriculture’’.
Chairman of the occasion, Sen. Chris Adighije, said the topic of the lecture was apt because the role of security in nation building could not be over-emphasised.
Adighije, Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, Federal University, Lokoja, described security as a pre-condition for social development.
Earlier in his opening remarks, Prof. Udo Herbert, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, MOUAU, said the lecture was timely as the country was in dire need of economic advancement.
He represented the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Maduebibisi Iwe, at the occasion.
Herbert described the lecturer as a renowned academic, with vast knowledge in the agricultural sector.
The lecture was attended by eminent personalities including Dr Cosmas Maduka, Founder and Chairman, Coscharis Group and Mr Chika Ikenga, Founder and Managing Director of Eunisell Group. (NAN)