BusinessDay

Nigeria spends N1trn on food importation in H1 2021 – Obaseki

Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki has decried the level of agricultural imports in the country, saying that N1 trillion was spent importing food in the first half of 2021.

Obaseki, therefore, urged young people to take interest in agriculture as it is a viable business in the country.

The governor stated this on Monday when he received the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, and former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar who were on a courtesy visit at the Government House in Benin City.

According to him, “the economy of our country is not doing well and we all have a big role to play. Without us producing more for ourselves, we wouldn’t be able to sustain our current level of imports.

“It means that we will not be able to get sufficient foreign exchange to bring in what we consume. The exchange rate will begin to rise, the price of commodities will continue to go up and our people will dive more into poverty.

“The traditional institution has a role to play, as we encourage our people to farm and produce more foods to feed ourselves. In the first half of this year, we have spent N1 trillion naira importing food and it’s not sustainable.

Read also: How Nigerian can strengthen food system amid global challenges

Obaseki, who identified insecurity and food challenges as some of the biggest problems facing the nation, noted that working with the traditional institution, who are well-grounded in the grassroots, governments at all levels “will be able to tackle these issues which will lead to the economic development of the nation.

While commending Atiku for his contributions to the advancement of the country’s democracy, Obaseki said,”I cannot thank you enough for the leadership that you continue to provide; the counsel you gave me during my electioneering, the private conversations, and the assistance you rendered to me when we joined the party; we had challenges, but you stepped up and threw your weight behind the resolution of the issues.”

Earlier, Oba Ogunwusi hailed the government’s developmental strides across all sectors of the state, assuring the governor that traditional rulers will continue to work with constituted authorities to move the nation forward.

The Ooni of Ife advised him not to be distracted but to remain focused and double his efforts in making life better for Edo people, particularly the youths.

Abubakar, on his part, said his meeting with the governor centred on governance, current issues in the country, and how the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) could be strengthened to take over power in 2023.

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