Nigerian Guild of Editor has identified government’s over-reliance on oil and gas as the revenue base of the country as major reason for the economic problem currently facing the country.

It stated that there was an urgent need for government to diversify the economy, specifically, with a deliberate investment in agriculture, which it noted, would create employment for the army of unemployed youths, and usher in prosperity for the country and its peoples.

This was contained in a 13-point-communique at the end of the 12th All Nigeria Editors Conference, (ANEC) 2016, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

The four-day conference had the theme, ‘Economic diversification: Agriculture as option for a prosperous Nigeria'.

The Guild stated that agriculture had suffered serious neglect as a result of negative mindset, reliance on outdated methods and gross under-funding, adding that government must urgently evolve or strengthen policies that would protect local farmers against the influx of foreign agricultural products and encourage local production for food sufficiency and processing of raw materials for export.

It also stressed that the formation of more Farmers’ Co-operative societies should be encouraged while those already in existence should be strengthened to improve on their productivity.

While stressing that the skills needed for agricultural production and processing should be placed above mere certification for the sake of it, the Guild tasked government to quickly recapitalize and make more functional, the Bank of Agriculture and other institutions relevant to the agricultural programmes of the country.

It also advised state governments to collaborate in the areas of agricultural production and processing, concentrating on the areas where they have comparative advantage...