Group Executive Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Victor Adeniran, has said the revival of all the farm settlements created by Chief Obafemi Awolowo holds the key to Nigeria’s exit from economic recession.
This was as he declared that the present downturn in the national economy had drawn out the importance of agriculture in the drive towards economic revival.
Adeniran, who spoke as the chairman of the 27th Orin Day ceremony in Orin Ekiti in Ekiti State, said the revival of the farm settlements would make them the pivot of youth empowerment in this period of recession.
He said despite the fact that oil had provided the mainstay of the economy of Nigeria, over the years, “the reality today is that we must revive our agriculture if we want to exit from economic recession.”
He said it was in realisation of this fact that NNPC was planning to invest heavily into the cultivation of Jathropha, a plant that has a lot of value for production of biofuels, as an alternative to fossil fuels.
“This investment, apart from boosting employment generation, will catalyse agricultural linkage with oil and gas which is desirable for economic growth”, he said, urging agricultural-based communities to harness the renewed focus on agriculture.
“Farmers and those who add value to farm produce are the ones who can benefit from the current foreign exchange regime.Our youths should be encouraged to embrace this agriculture initiative as a way to solve the unemployment quagmire that stare us in the face”, he said.
Also speaking at the event, a former presidential adviser on energy matters, Professor Anthony Adegbulugbe, lamented the lack of passion for education among the youths in the country.