A call has gone out to the government at all levels to work at leveraging the vast arable land in Nigeria towards economic development. This was the thrust of a presentation delivered by Professor Evans Osabuohien at the 7th Public Lecture commemorating the 81st birthday of His Royal Majesty, Oba Samuel Ojugbele, the Onilogbo of Ilogbo-Asowo, Aworiland, Ogun State.

Speaking on the theme, ‘Sailing the Nigerian Economy out of Limbo via Agricultural Cardinal Points,‘ the Professor of Economics said if the country will emerge as an economic powerhouse in the comity of nations, there was an urgent need for the different tiers of government in the country to work at supporting good policy agenda and maintain consistency in the implementation of same.

Professor Evans Osabuohien said one of the many challenges bedevilling Nigeria was policy somersault and abandonment of initiatives started by the previous administration. According to him, policymakers should, as a necessity, dedicate efforts and resources to encouraging investment, especially from Nigerians in the diaspora, by creating an enabling environment where potential investors will have confidence in the security of their investment. “When people see government work to make things right, they will be attracted to commit their resources in that direction,” he enthused.

Furthermore, Professor Evans Osabuohien advocated the need to incentivize the teeming youth population to embrace various aspects of the agriculture value chain, as well as create the requisite framework that will make public-private partnerships thrive in the agricultural sector of the economy.

The lecture, which attracted an audience from the public and private sectors, as well as traditional leaders, stressed the need for the Nigerian government to design and enact evidence-based policies that reflect the peculiar needs of the country. 

Professor Evans Osabuohien, who Chairs DEPECOS Institution and Development Research Centre (DIaDeRC) and DIaDeRC Jobs Solutions, decried the situation that has seen Nigeria being categorized as the poverty capital of the world despite being blessed with a plethora of natural resources that can make her one of the economic power nations of the world.

Professor Evans Osabuohien highlighted the need for a revolution in the four cardinal points (crop production, animal husbandry, fishery and forestry) of the agricultural sector. According to him, there should be a holistic government and private sector approach to deploying appropriate technology and resources to address various aspects of agriculture in Nigeria because it is the one sector that is viable enough to drive economic rebirth. “The agricultural sector was the only sector in the nation’s economy that maintained positive growth when the economy was in recession,” he averred.

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