God’ll not forgive us if we abandon agriculture –Lokpobiri
Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, has said God will not be merciful to Nigerians if they should abandon agriculture for oil.
Lokpobiri said this, recently, at the restructuring and recapitalisation of the Bank of Agriculture (BOA), in Abuja.
The minister, who cited Belgium and Norway as countries that are raking in billions of dollars from agriculture export, further urged Nigerians to deepen their interest in farming, and also, cash in on the recapitalisation of BOA; to expand agriculture.
Said Lokpobiri: “It is an opportunity we have as Nigerians to buy shares in BOA and have opportunities to truly access funding. Recently, the Minister of Belgium in charge of food and environment came here and we were comparing notes.
“What they get from agro export is much more than what they get from petroleum. Even if you go to Norway, what they get from agriculture is more than what they get from petroleum. Nigerians are just carried away by the few petroleum dollars that we have and abandoned what used to be the mainstay of the economy.
“The time has come for us to go back. As we said a few years ago, if we abandon agriculture because oil price is now $70, not even God or not even the devil will forgive us. Food is the most important thing. We need to brace up for the challenges ahead.”
Meanwhile, Managing Director, Lead Capital Consurtuim, Wale Adewumi, said the firm would inject sufficient funds to ensure that BOA attains its full potential.
He said: “When one think of the potential of the agric sector of the country and the level of support that is available and where it is available. Mind you, when we look at what happens abroad, there is no question that we need a revitalised BOA that is adequately empowered to support the development of agric value chain of the country. We are ready to put our resources behind the intent of government for the transformation of the BOA so that the agriculture sector can really come to its full potential.”