The Federal Government on Thursday said Nigeria could no longer continue to be a consumer nation, hence the need for citizens to key into the government’s importation intervention.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Mohammed Sabo Nanono, who stated this in Kaduna said the policy to stem importation would consequently enhance the nations’ foreign earning and create jobs for its teeming population.
Addressing the opening of the 49th Annual Conference, Meeting and Exhibition of the Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers, themed;
“Enhancement of Agricultural Value Chain for Economic Development: The Role of Chemical Engineering”, Nanono said the future of Nigeria was depemdent on agriculture for the country to continue to transform and diversify its economy.
Giving the rice revolution as an example, the Minister said, “Report has shown that, rice production peaked at 3.7 million tons in 2017, with appropriate agricultural practice, Nigeria is expected to hit 7.2 million tons in the next 5 years.
“In my inaugural speech as the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, I made it clear that Agriculture sector being the largest employer of labour in Nigeria, if the country gets Agricultural policy right, the country may not only feed its citizen but the entire West Africa countries.
“Nigeria government is pursuing aggressive economic diversification. The recent Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) is aimed at increasing national productivity and achieving sustainable diversification of production, to significantly grow the economy.
“Agriculture Promotion Policy (2016-2020) document otherwise known as The Green Alternative developed by my ministry is dedicated on prioritizing private sector-led development of the value chains of crop, livestock and fisheries sub-sectors.
“The significance of this Agricultural value chain development cannot be over emphasized. As I call on Nigerians to key into Federal Government policy to stem importation, which will consequently enhance our foreign earning and create jobs for our teening population more so as the country can no longer continue to be a consumer Nation.
“Ministries, Agencies, Government and Private sector must continue to do more. I therefore throw the challenge to Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers to provide necessary technologies and innovations to propel this country’s Agricultural sector to another height of technological development