Oyo State Head of Service, Mr Soji Eniade has urged Nigerians to focus more on agriculture for sustenance and overcome recession.
He noted that, the over dependence on oil and gas is taking its toll on the nation’s economic growth, as a result of persistent fall in the price of crude oil in international market.
Speaking at a workshop organised by the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Investment and Cooperatives, in collaboration with United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) on Thursday, Eniade said, in recent times most Nigerians believe that their survival lies on oil and gas.
He explained that the motive of the workshop with the theme: “Validation Workshop on Industrial Policy of Oyo State,” was to accelerate the pace of industrial development, through efficient and effective utilisation and development of the human, mineral, water, agricultural and forest resources, by radically adding value at every stage of production.
He said “the reality is on all Nigerians that dependency on crude oil without diversification to other areas of the economy has affected the growth of the nation. As being presently experienced, the price of crude oil is falling day by day in the international market. While the production is falling on daily basis.
“Earnings from oil and gas solely cannot guarantee economic growth, and sustainability. This nation can only attain genuine and sustainable growth, if her economy is anchored on strong industrial development, without which the nation’s dream of becoming one of the 20 leading economies in the world by 2020 would be a mirage.”
“Oyo State is presently vigorously pursuing provision of enabling business environment, to entrepreneurs and other private sector players both nationally and internationally. This is with a view of forging vital industrial development linkages and connectivity, under the operations of friendly and favourable conditions.
“There are lots of economic and business opportunities that can utilise resources available in Oyo State for the development of Micro, Small and Medium enterprises. Resources in the state include good soil and climatic condition, which can favourably support industrial production of crops like cocoa, kolanut, plantain, palm fruits, cashew nut, yam, citrus, cassava, and maize among others.
In his address, the Permanent secretary, Ministry of Trade, industry, investment and cooperatives, Mr Wasiu Amoo said the important of the workshop aimed at validating the draft policy document, that has been prepared by the UNIDO appointed consultants, in an effort to develop a comprehensive industrial policy that would be able to pass through the legislative process in the state.
He said the industrial policy was aimed at stimulating growth and ultimately, the transformation of the economy from low productivity agriculture, to high productivity manufacturing and services.
“The state government has noted the current gap, and has therefore decided to collaborate with the UNIDO, to evolve a robust industrial policy measure, with a view to providing an enabling environment, for a well guided private sector driven economy, aimed at achieving amongst others.”
Meanwhile, the representative of UNIDO, Dr Ruben Bamidele said his organisation wants to continue to build on the cordial relationship with Oyo State, which has been existing since 2013.