By Louis Iba
Some Nigerians based in the United Kingdom (UK) are demanding that the Federal Governemnt create the right atmosphere that will allow private investors invest in agriculture and unlock its potentials for economic growth.
At a gathering in London to celebrate the country’s 56th independence anniversary tagged “Nigeria and the Unity of all Tribes” also demanded for good governance from politicians as well as good corporate governance practices by business establishments and regulatory agencies operating in the country.
A frontline social and political activist, Mr. Babatunde Odunuga, who spoke at the event said the economic recession going on in Nigeria, as much as it came with a lot of pains, also offered an opportunity to diversify the economy from crude oil to other sectors, especially agriculture.
“Agriculture, abundant rainfall and predictable weather forms a very vital background for the growth of the agricultural sector in the country,” said Odunuga, who is a an ex-serviceman in the British Army. “Nigeria was a major contributor to agricultural exports to other parts of the world. We were once known as a major exporter of cocoa, groundnuts and other natural resources, we still have the capacity to get back our envied position in that area with this recession,” he added.
He said rather than blame the government of President Muhammadu Buhari for the ongoing recession, Nigerians should rally their support behind his government as the future held a brighter prospect for all citizens.
Said Odunuga, “This government came in at the tipping point of our numerous economic woes. We need to be fair with ourselves that the present day economic difficulty did not just start; its a decadal chain reaction of implementing inappropriate polices and system of governance, definitely issues are bound to arise.”
“Most of the super countries Nigerians like to refer to in terms of growth cannot boast of the type of fertile land we have in this county. We have human and natural resources in abundance, not only that, we have a government that is focused and ready to assist farmers harness their full potentials. As the world goes through a very arduous period, Nigeria is likely to snap out of her difficult period as soon as we begin to take the issue of agriculture more seriously”, he said.