The Chairman of the Agriculture Sector of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr Wale Oyekoya has lauded President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) for his resolve to revamp agriculture to engender economic growth in an interview recently in Lagos
Oyekoya described the president’s resolve to diversify the economy instead of relying on oil as commendable,while regretting that previous administrations could not exploit the oil boom to foster development.
He lamented that “the oil boom had overtime become oil doom for the country because of corruption, adding that since the discovery of oil in Nigeria, agriculture has been grossly neglected with so much emphasis on oil and this invariably led to poor development in agricultural produce.
“However, power has changed hands and the new administration seems to be ready to pursue the policy of diversifying the economy to enrich agriculture,” he said.
Oyekoya called on the Federal Government to invest more money into agriculture and provide grants and soft loans to commercial and small-scale farmers for total turnaround of the sector. He buttressed that if government improved infrastructure in the agric sector through provision of ready market for the farm produce, it will definitely speed up the economy.
The Agriculture Sector Chairman reaffirmed that farmers who are involved in processing of agricultural goods need power, storage facilities, good roads among others as well as where to sell their produce to thrive in the business. He added that when these infrastructures are missing, there will definitely be a decline in the production of processed goods.”
Oyekoya beckoned on the government to regulate the influx of imported agricultural goods, saying the practice stifled the productive capacities of local farmers, as the prices of most of these imported goods are relatively cheaper than those produced by our local farmers, who need to also sell their produce to make marginal profits and stay in business.
Oyekoya, however, said he was optimistic about brighter prospects for agriculture, advising youths and the unemployed to grab the opportunity provided by the present administration to revive agriculture