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Economic Crises: Obasanjo urges FG to take agribusiness serious

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Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Leye Oyebade(left); Pro Chancellor University of Ibadan, Dr. Musa Mustapha and Eminent Guest Lecturer, Chief. Olusegun Obasanjo, at the 1st Eminent Persons Business Lecture Organised by the University of Ibadan School of Business in Ibadan…yesterday PHOTO: NAJEEM RAHEEM

Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Leye Oyebade(left); Pro-Chancellor University of Ibadan, Dr. Musa Mustapha and Eminent Guest Lecturer, Chief. Olusegun Obasanjo, at the 1st Eminent Persons Business Lecture Organised by the University of Ibadan School of Business in Ibadan…yesterday PHOTO: NAJEEM RAHEEM

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday, said that for the nation’s economy to be out of the woods, the federal government must begin to take agricultural business seriously. He maintained that the only way out of the present economic crises is for our government at all levels to embrace agriculture as an alternative to oil.

The former President spoke in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, while delivering the maiden Eminent Persons Business Lecture, titled Agribusiness: Time To Act is Now, organised by the University of Ibadan (UI) School of Business, in partnership with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan.

He noted that the fall in prices of oil at the world market, which may be a blessing in disguise, has contributed to economic hardship and collapse in businesses, adding that all hands must be on deck to practically embrace agriculture and not just on paper.

While highlighting the importance of agriculture in the areas of economic growth and development, as well as, wealth creation, the former President said agribusiness has potentials to stimulate industrialisation and economic growth.

On how to practically make agriculture a major source of revenue, the former leader said priority attention must be given to the sector at the high level of government and incorporate all departments, ministries and agencies of government in the agricultural sector and not just the ministry of agriculture, to make their responsibilities complementary and not competitive.

He said, to brace agriculture, “We have to glamorise agric business and that is why wherever I go I call myself a farmer, if a former President can call himself a farmer why can’t we call ourselves farmers. Adequate support must be given to agriculture to search for innovation; we must give incentives to farmers.”

While urging government to be consistent in policy formation and ensure its sustainability, Obasanjo said, “while agric business cannot be practiced without government support, a good policy must be put in place to support and encourage agriculture.”



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