By Fatima Mohammed-Lawal
Ilorin – The Chairman Board of Directors, First Bank Plc, Mrs Ibunkun Awosika, has urged the Federal Government to diversify its economic resource into agriculture.
Awosika, who was the Guest Lecturer at the Agricultural and Rural Management Institute (ARMTI), made the call on Saturday in Ilorin at the 20th Annual lecture of the Institute.
Her paper presentation was entitled: “Promoting Agriprenuership in the Green Alternative.”
She described agriculture as an alternative to the much depended economic resources derived from petroleum.
“Nigeria is blessed with very fertile land, but it is saddening to know that majority of its youths are jobless,” she said.
According to her, the stability of Nigeria depends on the nation being able to sustain its citizens food production, which she said would translate to social stability.
Awosika further said Nigeria as a nation has all have the fundamental needed to grow in agriculture, saying “we need to know the time of oil is long gone”.
A discussant at the lecture, Mr Babatunde Ogunyemi, Managing Director of Thelma Farms in Ijebu-Ode, emphasized on the need for Nigerian youths to embrace agriculture.
He said: “On my 350 hectares of land in Ijebu-Ode where I grew fresh indigenous vegetable for exportation, I feel depressed that not enough is done in agriculture.
“Even with our huge production we can only meet just nine per cent of the demand.
“When I met with Mr President some weeks ago in Abuja, I told him that though Nigeria is winning the war against insurgency, but how do we fight the war of feeding our citizens,” he said.
Earlier in his address of welcome, the ARMTI Director, Dr Olufemi Oladunni, called for the overhaul of the agriculture sector to boost the economy.
He explained that if government can overhaul the sector to bring appropriate intervention, agriculture will be a life saver for the nation.