Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin-Kebbi
Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State has said that the recent award bestowed on him as the Outstanding Best Governor on Agriculture by The Sun Newspaper will spur him to do more to improve the sector.
Governor Bagudu, who stated this while hosting Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Muhammad and his entourage at Government House on Sunday night, noted that he had received few awards in the past, but the last one given by The Sun Publishing Ltd shows that the world has acknowledged the agriculture revolution in Kebbi state.
“18 states have visited us in the past,” the Governor said. “Also, the Financial Times of London and many newspaper houses have given us awards on agriculture. The recent one is The Sun newspaper Award. That shows that the world has acknowledged what we are doing in agriculture in Kebbi and Nigeria. This will encourage us to do more.”
Bagudu noted that Nigeria’s economy was getting better after investing about N54 billion in agriculture through Anchor Borrowers, stressing that the cost of rice drastically reduced from N21,000 to N15,00 without subsidy.
He added that Nigeria could do better if money spent on oil subsidies are replicated in the agriculture sector.
Earlier, Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Muhammed said the agriculture success story in Kebbi state was not only about agriculture but poverty reduction, stressing that if N100 billion were invested in the sector, the country would be food sufficient and youth unemployment reduced.
He added that the on-going revolution in the sector has led to the closure of many rice mills in Thailand, stating that “the only way out of economic recession is agriculture.”