Expect more from me, president promises Nigerians

Zamfara State Governor Abubakar Yari (left); Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo during the eighth Bola Tinubu Colloquium at the International Conference Centre, Abuja …yesterday PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA

Zamfara State Governor Abubakar Yari (left); Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo during the eighth Bola Tinubu Colloquium at the International Conference Centre, Abuja …yesterday PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA

• Leader extols Tinubu’s qualities as patriot
• Food sufficiency possible in one year, says Bagudu

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday assured Nigerians that his administration would be taking more pragmatic actions in the next few months to improve the nation’s economy and boost their living conditions.

He spoke at the Eighth Annual Bola Tinubu Colloquium held at the International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja in honourof the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu who clocked 64 years yesterday,

Buhari said “there are very few patriots alive today that can meet the commitment , resilience and creativity of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, which the former Lagos State Governor and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress(APC) has demonstrated in organising Nigerian public life for good.
“As he adds another year today, my best wishes and prayers go to a man who deserves a lot of commendation for what he has continued to stand for.”

In a related development, Kebbi State Governor, Abubakar Bagudu, has said that if the right policies, political will, good environment and the needed infrastructure are put in place, Nigeria can achieve self-sufficiency in the production of rice and wheat within the space of one year.

According to the president,“The theme for this year’s colloquium: ‘Agriculture: Action, Work, Revolution’ is apt, especially as the nation grapples with the effect of profligacy of national resources and the consequence off shrinking of oil prices.
‘ ‘ So diversifying the economy can no longer be a slogan, it has become a necessity, because economic growth cannot just be for the lucky few at the top, it has to be broad-based for every Nigerian citizen and the good place to start is with the agricultural sector.

“We face other challenges like insecurity, creating jobs addressing the country’s balance of payments and still making efforts to sustaining our country’s economic recovery.
“It is also important and critical to focus on the present challenges that confronts millions of our men, women and children around the country, the need for long- term security.

“In spite the fact that Nigeria has a massive domestic market having a lot of arable land and so much resources that could be harnessed into increased production, incomes and food security, agriculture today is plagued by a lot of problems from low productivity and poor infrastructure to weak nearest access as well as weak market institutions.

“Nearly all our companies are dependent on agriculture and this makes our agricultural productivity entirely vulnerable to the effect of climate change. In the past few years on the average Nigeria has spent in excess of $11 billion annually importing wheat, rice, sugar and fish. We need not and indeed, we cannot afford to continue on this trajectory.

“The real point is not to complain about the difficult terrain, but to take it, that is why this administration has prioritised agriculture and food security as a basis for socio-economic development, not least because of our conviction that Nigeria has a potential to produce what it eats, but also that we can be the bread basket of West Africa, agriculture is key to our economic growth, and social investment policies.

“Our administration’s key strategy is to ensure that Nigeria becomes self-sufficient in the food that we consume the most, maize, rice, corn, millet, fruits, poultry products and their derivatives, can all be produced at home if we put our heartbeat . Our policy is simple, we will produce what we eat.

‘‘It is not only logical, but it is necessary because we cannot be held up by the way things are, vulnerable to crude oil prices and unbridled expenditure of foreign exchange on things we can grow at home.”
He said that his government’s desire was to invest heavily in human capital development towards reducing the high level of poverty in the country.
“In the coming months, Nigerians will see much more action. Government will continue to invest substantially in human capital development and this is just the beginning.There will always be some skepticism , some have even become disorientated and impatient enough to think that barriers are insurmountable .“

Despite the odds, he said there were incredible examples of entrepreneurs who have set up processing factories, green house farming and “We can achieve more with partnership that links up and scales up our respective efforts.
“I am declaring that we need a new approach that challenges more states and local governments, more organisations, companies and non-governmental organisations and individuals, some of the younger people who are here to step up and play a role because government cannot and should not do it alone. All hands should be on deck,” he said.

According to him, the opportunities that the government sees in the agriculture value chain are enormous. He commended the organisers of the Bola Tinubu Colloquium for the choice of the theme of the event which focused on improving agriculture.

The president said: “We intend to organise an efficient market infrastructure that will make agriculture viable for investors. We are providing an enabling environment so as to ensure certainty and predictability for the private sector. “

Buhari also assured that government would speed up actions that would improve food production techniques as technology would play a huge role in better seeds, better harvest, weather forecast and predictable market prices.
“Further more, we are going to keep focusing on improved nutrition for children. We know the effects of hunger and poor nutrition can last a life time. Children are thrown out of school to earn a living,” the president said.

While presenting a paper at the colloquium, Bagudu stressed the need for government to subsidised agriculture so as to reduce the cost of production.

He gave an instance that in Thailand, a tonne of paddy rice is sold at N45,000, while in Nigeria it is sold at N65,000. He said: “Data made available from across the states tested by the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN), Federal Ministry of Agriculture and research institutes show that Nigeria can achieve self-sufficiency in rice with the next one year if farmers are provided with needed funds.”

Stressing the need to provide farmers with improved yield to boost their production, he said farmers in other countries were harvesting rice at 9-11mt per hectares while Nigerians farmers were doing 2.5-5mt per hectare. He said farmers were more concerned about getting the seeds as and when needed.

The state governor hinged the poor adoption of new technology by farmers on the inability to guarantee market for the their produce.

He said: “Nigeria produces about 172million metric tonnes of food annually, unfortunately more than one quarter of the food is wasted because of the inability of farmers to guarantee market for their produce.”

Bagudu also lamented that policy reversals had forced farmers to stop believing in the government because they had unsold stock trucks. “He said the most important factor is the availability of seed, if that is done farmers can be drivers of government policy and within the new few years, we can achieve self-sufficiency in wheat.”

Among those who graced the occasion were Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and his wife, Dolapo, wife of the celebrant, Senator Remi Tinubu, former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu, state governors of Zamfara (Abdulaziz Yari), Osun (Rauf Aregbesola), Ogun (Ibikunle Amosun), Cross River (Ben Ayade), Bauchi ( Muhammed Abubakar), Lagos (Ambode Akinwunmi), Kaduna (Nasir el-Rufai), and Oyo (Abiola Ajimobi).



6 Comments
  • Jumpingbrook

    Yes we know we will see more of your travel from one end of the world to another, by the way, when are you visiting Cuba, Obama just lef there, that bedroom he slept is still warm, “fly away Baba Buahri to Cuba” and enjoy, we are suffering – No Fuel, No Electricity, No Food, we are waiting. Just to let you know, last night they just carry a Colonel and killed like a chicken, remember you are a General of Nigerian army and currently Commander-in-Chief and they just did this to your front-line officers, na waaaa.

  • Anne Mumuney

    In terms of looking inward and developing agricultural processes, kudos to UAC for developing BINGGO in Jos. It may be a small thing, and dog food may not be on anywhere on the list of national priorities, but as all we dog lovers know, it has been very difficult for us to feed our beloved pets with high quality feed. Now to find out that UAC is producing it in Jos, hopefully using our grain and providing a market for our farmers, providing employment for our people is very heartwarming. All you dog lovers out there, please support our MADE IN NIGERIA dog food.. I hope the Government will do more to encourage local industries like this, by providing the infrastructure they need, and not taxing them out of existence. From little drops a mighty ocean. Well done UAC.

  • vic

    AGBADA THIEVES AND TREASURY LOOTERS, HOW CAN NIGERIANS “EXPECT MORE” FROM YOU WHEN YOU HAVE NOT GIVEN EVEN THE LEAST IN TERMS OF WORKERS LEGITIMATE RIGHTS ON MONTHLY PAYMENT OF WORKERS SALARIES AND PENSION AS AND WHEN DUE BEFORE THE END OF EACH MONTH SINCE YOUR ARRIVAL 10 MONTHS AGO.

    YOU ARE AN UNTRUSTED LIAR AND A CHEAT, SHAMELESS DAURA FOOL, FOOLING DAILY WITH NIGERIANS. NIGERIANS ASSURE YOU THAT YOU WILL BE BOOTED OUT FROM ASO ROCK EARLIER THAN YOU EXPECT. SO FAR YOU HAVE FAILED THE WORKERS, PENSIONERS AND THE YOUTHS OF THIS GREAT NATION, NIGERIA. YOU ARE NOTHING BUT POT- BELLY SHAMELESS TREASURY LOOTERS AND A BUNCH OF CORRUPT AND IMMORAL FOOLS. LIKE THOSE RAMS, YOUR DAYS ARE NUMBERED.

  • Omo Delta

    LISTEN AND LISTEN AGAIN VERY CAREFULLY: There will be nothing like actual democracy in Nigeria until thugs are disallowed to contest election

    Almost all the Governors(including Delta, Rivers), Senators, Council Chairmen are all THUGS in various states

    INEC AS AN AUCTIONEERS: INEC on its part is like auctioneers: giving victory to the highest bidder

    The Police are powerless in Nigeria setting as they play according to dictates of the power that be

    Therefore, not until INEC and Electoral laws and the Judiciary are reform very thoroughly no good thing will come out of our election.

    BUHARI MUST REFORM THESE BEFORE 2019 ELECTION

    The last one was rated good because Nigerians are just sentimental and gullible to manipulation

    CRIMINALS, THIEVES, ROUGES, FRAUDSTERS AND OCCULTISTS CANNOT TRANSFORM OR DEVELOP A STATE EXCEPT LOOTING. LOOK AT DELTA -No1 / RIVERS/AKWA IBOM STATES BEING LOOTED CONTINUALLY

    • ubong

      So all northern states are govern by saint and probably SW APC states that are not govern by corrupt Nigerians. You should go ahead and tell us why almost all Governors are owing their workers salary, its is not pure wickedness on their part to fellow human beings or is it those state you mentioned that is being looted. Please we should accept the fact that these so called self appointed leaders know nigerians are empty noise makers and that we can accept any misrule as part of life just like corruption is in our blood. We should all support President Buhari in his PERSONAL effort to bring n some element of sanity into governance. we should encourage and support him to go all out against those corrupt nigerians he surround himself no matter how much of our collective wealth was used to support his campaign.

  • Sitanda

    Lies, lies and more lies.
    APC… Lies!

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