FG to focus on agriculture, not oil, says Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria

President Muhammadu Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said the Federal Government would give Agriculture the needed attention as part of effort to diversify the economy.

The President said this in Calabar while declaring open the 55th Annual General Meeting of Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).

“Agriculture must cease from being treated as development programme; Agriculture must be treated as business,” he said.

Buhari, represented by Alhaji Umar Farouk, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, said the federal government was focusing on the development of agricultural value chain.

According to him, agricultural value chain allows the intervention of segments of the value chain such as production, processing, storage and marketing.

“Our goal will be to pursue government supported private sector agriculture value chain to make agriculture more productive, efficient and competitive.

“To provide enough food for domestic supply and create jobs through agriculture value chain,” Buhari said.

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The President said that Nigeria had the richest agriculture based mineral resources in Africa, adding that the country, nay, Africa had no reason being food importing continent.

Mr Edem Bassey, the National President of NACCIMA, described the association as a paragon of economic and social development in the country.

Bassey said the theme of the conference: “Policy consistency in agricultural value chain: a key to socio-economic development,” was carefully chosen in view of the current effort at diversifying the economy.

“I want to assure the President that we in NACCIMA shared the sentiment with the Federal Government,” he said.

Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River said in his speech that the state government would collaborate with the organised private sector to grow the economy of the state, especially in the agriculture sector.

One of the participants, Mrs Cynthia Saka from Ogun, described the conference as “very rewarding and interesting”.

“The 2015 AGM is a way forward for entrepreneurs, industrialists, manufacturers and the organised private sector,” she said.

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