Home AGRICULTURE Agriculture Is Still Pathway To Nigeria’s Prosperity, Osinbajo Insists

Agriculture Is Still Pathway To Nigeria’s Prosperity, Osinbajo Insists

Rice farmersVice President Yemi Osinbajo has made it clear that agriculture “is that well-known but abandoned pathway to our economic diversification and national prosperity.”
Commissioning the Edo State fertiliser and chemical Company Limited NPK Fertiliser plant today in Auchi, Professor Osinbajo said that the fundamental constraint to optimizing agriculture is access to inputs, fertilizer being a fundamental input.
“On the average, a Nigerian farmer uses 13kg per hectare of fertilizer compared with world average of 100kg per hectare.
“This explains why Mr. President negotiated the December 2016 Fertilizer initiative, working with the Moroccan King, aimed at achieving local production of 1 million metric tons of NPK fertilizer for 2017 wet season farming. Reducing costs and delivering finished products at N5000-5500 per bag (formerly between N8-9,000 sometimes N13,000.
“This, again, is an enterprise that will create at least 500 direct jobs and several more indirect jobs. It will bring us closer to self-sufficiency in fertilizer production and, perhaps most importantly, boost food production and reduce food prices, ultimately enhancing food security in Nigeria.
“To the extent that it makes import unnecessary, this plant will also help us to conserve our hard earned foreign exchange. And to crown it all, I am happy to learn of the plan for a gradual extension of this project so as to steadily boost its output.”
The Vice President congratulated the state governor, Godwin Obaseki who made the plant an integral part of’s plan to support and actualize the job creation and food security objectives of President Muhammadu Buhari, especially the NPK fertilizer initiative.
“Not only will this boost the local economy, it will also impact the national economy in a significant way. It is therefore a gift from Edo State to our great country.”
Osinbajo said that the Buhari administration had taken private enterprise very seriously, adding that government resources cannot bring about the rapid roll out it needs, especially in the areas of infrastructure and industrial development.
“It is the private sector that can do so. We are therefore committed to making it easy for businessmen to invest and do business everywhere in Nigeria.
“This accounts for the Presidential Enabling Business Council set up by President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, the work of which was fortified by the Executive Order No. 1, which I executed on May 18, 2017, on the promotion of transparency and efficiency in the business environment and facilitation of the ease of doing business.
“This efficiency and transparency drive is not a challenge to the Federal Government and its officials alone.
“Every State and Local Government must be involved in the effort to ensure that private businesses thrive and create employment opportunity for our growing youth population.
“By harnessing private capital and the great entrepreneurial spirit of Nigerians, I believe we can seriously leverage government resources and accelerate economic development.
“Let me therefore commend the Edo State Government for this partnership with WACOT, already well known Afro processing company. Barely 3 weeks ago, I was in their rice milling plant in Kebbi State.
Your Excellency, I am therefore very happy to commission this plant, which will further assist us to realise our potentials in this area.” [myad]