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Omole advocates establishment of agro-industrial cities, parks

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Chairman, Editorial Board of The Guardian newspapers, Professor Wale Omole

Chairman, Editorial Board of The Guardian newspapers, Professor Wale Omole, has stressed the need for the establishment of agro-industrial cities and parks to achieve sustainability in the country.

He said this yesterday at the Joseph Ayo Babalola University (JABU), Ikeji Arakeji, while delivering the ninth convocation lecture titled: Education and Agricultural Value Chains for Industrialisation of Nigeria.

He lamented the nation’s poor economy and industrialisation drive, which he noted were determined mainly by trading rather than production and productivity, a situation he blamed on deficient education curricula.

Omole identified a strong nexus between education and agriculture in the drive for industrialisation, revealing that the curricula inherited from the colonial master was faulty.

“For emphasis, the education curriculum we inherited over a century ago disconnected us from our land, and indeed really disconnected us from several other growth pathways of our lives.

“We must review them and adapt them for our benefit. The fault is ours for keeping them this long. It is getting too late. We must wake up, rise and move forward,” he stated.

To find lasting solution to the menace and trigger real development, he added that the country must formulate a reversible structure between education and agriculture.

“We must accept the fact that the real development of our educational system must depend on the establishment of industries. Industry is the greatest consumer of the trained manpower that education produces.

“In order to achieve sustainability of life in our country, we need to carefully and urgently establish agro-industrial parks, communities, towns and cities possibly in each state of the country,” he added.

According to him, the industrial drive would link the education sector through research, while the agro-industrial parks, communities and cities would take care of agricultural enterprises and businesses.

“It is obvious that industrialisation in Nigeria will depend on agriculture; an endowment of the rich land that generally remains green all year round.

“The major agro-industrial park in each state will serve as the hub, while food production nodes will be created in strategic points for on-farm adaptive research, processing and value chain.

“It is the sum of all the parks and nodes that will within a short time industrialise Nigeria. They will provide jobs for our youths, engage different age groups to work and see the results of their labour,” Omole said.

Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the University’s Governing Council, Professor Anthony Imevbore, said the Ecological Sustainable Industrial Development (ESID), an initiative of UNIDO, should be adopted in Nigeria.


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