At inpendence in 1960, agriculture for well over haft of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and was the main source of export earnings and public revenue, with the agricultural marketing boards playing a leading role, but today’s economy leading role has been taken over by the national oil company, the Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC). It’s unconcealed that the gospel economic salvation cannot be preached without due regards to agricultural development. It is visible to the blind and audible to the deaf that agriculture is the major and the most certain path to economic growth and sustainability. Do you know that Nigeria happens to belong among the few that have greatly retarded from their past glorious heights in agriculture
Hope you haven’t forgotten that we were warned against our reliance on oil and gas by Professor Pat. Utomi in the year 2003, to be precise, in a particular forum. To this cause, poverty as taken a resident permit in Nigeria. How can our nation grow well if we cannot cultivate and manufacture our own food? How do we intend to cater for the ever growing Nigeria population if we cannot confidently feed them to face life’s ever trying activities? Those are the questions we ought to tackle for the prosperousity of our posterity to be axiomatic.
A lot of promises to revitalize the agricultural sector of our economy which had once fed the nation and nations far and wide with her cocoa, groundnut, palmoil, rubber and hide and skins. Its being years now, once cannot confidently claim that much of these promises are being kept in the agricultural sector.
Agriculture as the “engine house“ of world economies needs to be overhauled and serviced in order that the tears of the Nigerian masses may dry up. The indiscriminate dependency on Oil and Gas will tell us what will happen years to come when U.S.A, BRITAIN, CANADA and many other countries would have gotten many means of fuelling their vehicles. They can tell Nigerians like Niger Delta militants, you can drink your oil. Going down memory lane, there was period in the years past when malaysia came to Nigeria to collect oil palm tree, four years later, they came back and said we don’t want you to give us free, we will pay for them. Today the oil palm, which we neglected in Umudike, Okitikpukpa e.t.c is now yielding billions of dollars for Malaysia. That is just from oil palm alone. What about cocoa, groundnut, cotton and cashew e.t.c
Nigeria, a nation believed to be one of the nations that have potentials to be great in the world, because of her endowment with natural and human resources cannot unleash her potentialities, if the country does not gain self-reliance and self-sufficiency. Our country will perpetually remain a borrower and debtor nation in the face of the booming globalization exercise. Until Nigeria summons courage to invest and exploit its rich agricultural sector, our country cannot achieve economic and political independence. More importantly, our present economically hazardous environment should be politically repositioned, in order to harness the resources that a bountiful agricultural sector can give birth to. Unless we invoke the spirit of agriculture in our national economy, our country will always remain the biblical ‘Jonah’ whose inability to self-actualize made him think he could keep deaf ears to the words of wisdom. Our government is still suffering from this “Jonah Complex” which has made it unthinkable for it to embrace agriculture as a true solution to our economic death. The government should embrace agriculture with more confidence because good agricultural policies and implementation still is the only “big fish” that can transport our economy to the path of recovery and boom. Agriculture has not been made a priority in Nigeria by the government and the Nigeria poverty needs urgent attention. Let the GREEN be GREENER and the WHITE be WHITER.