- There have been complaints of food shortage in Nigeria and the federal government says huge sums are spent on importation yearly
- The country's acting-president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has announced an intervention fund that would allow adequate food
The agriculture sector of the Nigerian economy has been boosted as the federal government has approved the sum of N750 billion for it.
This is as the government is reportedly driving towards diversifying the economy.
The Nigerian Tribune reports acting President Yemi Osinbajo as making the revelation during the inauguration of Senior Executive Course (SEC) 39 at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru Plateau state.
Professor Osinbajo, who said the current administration was poised to revamp the agricultural sector through the application of science, technology and innovation, added: “Developing the agricultural sector is a clear starting point of our quest for not only the diversification of our hitherto non cultural economy away from oil, it is also the only economy to grow fast enough to absorb the huge number of people that are unemployed.”
Represented by the deputy governor of Plateau state, Professor Sonny Tyoden, Osinbajo said Nigeria has over 84 hectares of arable land and that only 40 percent is cultivated.
He further said Nigeria has a large internal market because of its population.
He noted that importation of food to meet the shortfall in the country was no longer tenable as the country spent N1.3 billion on this annually.
“Given the current economy realities of our country, food importation has to be drastically reduced and eventually stopped,” he said.
The report also quoted the acting director-general of NIPSS, Mr Jonathan Juma, as saying in his opening remark: “Human population is increasing exponentially, while climate change with attendant implication for agricultural production is steering us in the face, the option to put in place vibrant and robust science, technology innovation policy is imperative.”