DIaDeRC Chair Tasks Govt to Invest in Driving Agricultural Sector

The Founding Chair of the DePECOS Institution and Development Research Centre (DIaDeRC), Professor Evans Osabuohien, has called on the government at all levels to work at leveraging the vast arable land in the country towards economic development. Professor Osabuohien made this call at the 7th Public Lecture commemorating the 81st birthday of His Royal Majesty, Oba Samuel Ojugbele, the Onilogbo of Ilogbo-Asowo, Aworiland, Ogun State. Speaking on the theme, ‘Sailing the Nigerian Economy out of Limbo via Agricultural Cardinal Points‘ , the professor of economics said if the country will emerge an economic power house in the global space, the government should as a necessity work at supporting good policy agenda and maintain consistency in implementation of same. According to him, one of the challenges bedevilling Nigeria is policy somersault and abandonment of initiatives started by the previous administration.

He said policymakers should, as a necessity, dedicate efforts and resources to encouraging investment, especially from Nigerians in the diaspora, by creating an enabling environment where potential investors will have confidence in the security of their investment. “When people see government work to make things right, they will be attracted to commit their resources in that direction,” he enthused.

Furthermore, Professor Osabuohien advocated the need to incentivize the teeming youth population to embrace various aspects of the agriculture value chain, as well as create the requisite framework that will make public-private partnerships thrive in the agricultural sector of the economy.

The lecture, which attracted an audience from the public and private sectors, as well as traditional leaders, stressed the need for the Nigerian government to design and enact evidence-based policies that reflect the peculiar needs of the country. 

When people see government work to make things right, they will be attracted to commit their resources in that direction” – Evans Osabuohien.

Professor Osabuohien, who highlighted the four cardinal points (crop production, animal husbandry, fishery and forestry) of the agricultural sector, said to revolutionize the sector, there should be a holistic government and private sector approach to deploying appropriate technology to address various aspects of agriculture in Nigeria because it is the one sector that is viable enough to drive economic rebirth. “The agricultural sector was the only sector in the nation’s economy that maintained positive growth when the economy was in recession,” he averred.

Professor Osabuohien, who is also the curator of DIaDeRC Jobs Solutions, decried the situation that has seen Nigeria being categorized as the poverty capital of the world despite being blessed with a plethora of natural resources and commended His Royal Majesty for choosing to remain active service to the peoples need and commitment to driving excellence.

He said Nigeria is ranked among the top 10 countries of the world with arable land resources, yet cannot meet the food needs of her people. According to him, the nation’s inability to maximize the marine/aquatic life resources (i.e. blue economy) is a major challenge militating against the nation rising to its full potential in feeding its people and generating revenue. “Out of the major rivers in Africa, two of these are in Nigeria; so, there is no reason why we should be lacking in resources to meet our needs and generate foreign exchange,” he posited.

In his welcome remark, the celebrant, His Royal Majesty Oba Samuel Ojugbele, the Onilogbo of Ilogbo-Asowo, said there was a need to assemble great minds to dissect the issues affecting the nation’s economic woes and use the platform to share his vision of what he desires to see in his domain, state and nation at large.

Oba Ojugbele, a legal luminary, reminisced about his days in school and how Nigeria catered for him and other students. He said he is saddened that students today can not access those same benefits. “How did we get into this mess?,” he queried. He said the basic expectation of Nigerians is that the government should create an environment that will enable them to thrive.

Oba Ojugbele tasked the government to help secure people’s investment from insecurities and banditry, provide good road networks and cultivate the citizenry’s trust if the agricultural sector comes back to life and attains the place of glory.

He concluded by advising the gathering to take vital points from the Guest Speaker and pick ideas to help drive growth and development at all levels of the nation’s economy.  Prof Evans Osabuohien was accompanied to the event by three other DIaDeRC Members, namely:  Ms Happiness Obi, Mrs Patience Evans-Osabuohien and Mr Emmanuel Attat.

The presentation is available online via this LINK.

One Response

  1. It is highly insightful and educative lecture.
    The Chair person of DIaDeRC was able to convince the public that agriculture is the only hope for Nigeria to get out inflation, unemployment, poverty and other economic and developmental issues.
    The government should therefore do the needful.
    Thanks a lot for your impactful outing.

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