November 12, 2016

VP Osinbajo: Why Nigeria is cutting down on Food Importation

*Invites Russian farmers to engage in local agric production
Foreign exchange constraints and the availability of arable land in Nigeria makes the case for improved local agricultural production in Nigeria an imperative, rather than continued importation with its significant pressure on dwindling foreign earnings of the country.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, gave this explanation while receiving in his office a Russian delegation led by the Russian Minister of Agriculture who is also the Co-Chair of the Nigeria-Russia Joint Commission, Mr. Alexander Tkachev.

“The oil prices have gone down tremendously and yet large amount of foreign exchange is used to purchase food abroad and we have large arable land for agric. It won’t make sense, if you don't use the land,” the Vice President said.

Prof. Osinbajo then invited Russian farmers to invest in Nigeria, produce and import from here, saying “we are just 6 hours away from Europe by air. Vegetables, flour can be exported to Europe from here, even our local market here is a lot.”

Both the Vice President and the delegation that included the Russian Ambassador in Nigeria, Ambassador Nikolay Udovichenko, Russian Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Evgeny Gromyko and officials of Russian’s firm-United Company (Rusal) agreed that Nigeria and Russia should deepen the existing diplomatic relationship, especially economically.

According to Prof. Osinbajo “there is a lot of money to be made if Russian technology in agriculture is deployed locally,” adding that there are better opportunities for economic cooperation between both countries.

Speaking earlier, the Russian Agriculture Minister expressed his country’s willingness to enhance the existing trade relations with Nigeria. He observed that the Nigeria-Russia trade volume as at the end of 2015 exceeded $300 million, but added that there are potentials for improvement in the years ahead.

Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity
Office of the Vice President


4 comments:

Hassan Aderemi said...

Actions! actions!! actions!!!

Anonymous said...

Agriculture is the way to go.

Charles

Anonymous said...

Kudos Visoooo......I support your initiatives. Please kindly invite them to finish up the Ajaokuta Steel Plant. That plant can give Nigeria 20,000 jobs...pls look into it.

God bless Nigeria.

Chijioke Onuoha said...

Just like they did in Bayelsa during Jonathan's time by inviting Vietnamese nationals to man rice paddies in Yenagoa and other lands marked for rice production, this government is doing the same thing.

They pay these farmers good money because they are expatriates, give them wholesome accommodations because they are foreigners who should be treated well and even have a convoy of pick-up vehicles that shuttle them from their lodgings to the rice paddies, and vice versa.

Now they want to bring in Russian farmers to help boost production? Why can't they make agriculture lucrative for the farmers at the "bottom of the pyramid"? Give them, not only fertilizers but vehicles, tools, accommodation, and other incentives to drive local participation in agriculture.

If the sponsors of Cowbell Mathematics competition gave a star prize as much as what Project Fame or any other talent hunting show gave the star winner, Nigerian youths wouldn't be so polarized and look down on education. Going to school today looks like a waste of time, since you can enter a studio, sing rubbish and become "responsible".. because you have money.

Pay farmers, doctors and teachers [skip lawyers for now] good money for their services and see what would happen..

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