Oil no longer sustainable, Kogi commissioner warns
Kogi State Commissioner for Agriculture, David Ape, has warned that Nigeria’s over-reliance on crude oil portends doom for the nation’s economy.
He gave the warning yesterday during a stakeholders’ meeting to promote environmental protection through replacement of worn-out oil palms in low carbon areas organised by Solidaridad West Africa in collaboration with Youth and Women Health Empowerment Project, (YAWHEP), Development and Female Gender Initiative, (DEGENDER), Intellect and Participation Initiative for BehavioUral Change in Development (PIBCID) in Lokoja.
Ape noted that agriculture remains the way out for the country.
He recalled that in the early 50s to the late 70s, the national economy peaked through agriculture, stressing that oil was fast losing relevance.
The commissioner described the workshop as timely, adding that both the federal and state governments were working to promote agriculture in the country.
He said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had set certain sum aside to encourage farmers in a bid to achieve food security.
The commissioner charged the participants to contribute meaningfully towards economic development via agriculture.
In his presentation titled, ‘Effect of deforestation and non-replacement of oil palm trees on low carbon areas, the need for sensitisation/community response to positive action to environmental protection’, Senior Programme Officer, Actionaid Nigeria, Friday Ogezi, harped on a sustainable ecosystem to improve conservation and environmental protection.
He submitted: “Environmentalists argue that planting of oil palm tree is extremely bad for the planet. Palm oil production was said to have been responsible for about eight per cent of the world’s deforestation between 1990 and 2008. This impact comes when they are worn out.
“As such, replacement of these trees becomes important to ensure environmental protection. The need for alternate crops and farming systems that conserve and promote afforestation becomes necessary.”