My govt resolved to achieve food security ― Buhari
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday in Lagos said that his administration is resolved to continue its drive to develop mechanised farming to achieve food security in the country, noting that efforts by previous administrations to improve the sector failed due to selfish interests.
Buhari gave this commitment while speaking at the 75th-anniversary lecture of Island Club, Lagos with the theme: “Nation Building and Institutional Development, Lessons for Nigeria from the Island Club at 75.”
Dignitaries at the event include National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who was represented by Mr Ademola Seriki, former Minister for State Defence; Lagos State governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode represented by his deputy, Dr. (Mrs.) Idiat Adebule, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Eniitan Ogunwusi, who was represented by Oba Feyemi Olumayowa, Elereke of Ereke, Ife; the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo; the Ojora of Ojora, represented by High Chief Akeem Ojora; Bashorun J.K. Randle, among others.
Buhari, represented by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, said the manufacturing industry largely depended on agriculture, hence his government’s passion for the sector, noting that such focus was now yielding positive results.
According to him, several small businesses in the country had been groomed and grown in the various agricultural value chains, saying that the feat was impacting positively on the nation’s economy.
The president said Nigeria before his administration took the bold step to stop the trend of importing things that could be produced locally, was spending huge revenue on the importation of rice, promising to do more to achieve food security in the country.
“We will do more for food security of our people,” he said.
Speaking on infrastructure, President Buhari said that most of the nation’s roads, bridges, power plants, seaports and other facilities were overstretched due to neglect and lack of renewal by previous administrations, but stated that several roads, rail and power projects had been completed since he came on board.
According to him, so much has been achieved such that every state in the country has projects completed with some ongoing, adding that the Tincan Island to Mile 2 Road in Lagos, causing gridlock in Lagos had been awarded and that work would begin on it in November.
Other ongoing projects in the South-West, according to him, include the Lagos-Ibadan rail, Lagos-Ota Expressway rehabilitation and Ikorodu Sagamu reconstruction project, among others.
Speaking further, the president submitted that institutions in the country were working, even as he lauded the Island Club for contributing its quota to the progress.
Buhari contended that the fact that more was being expected from most institutions did not mean that they were not functional, declaring: “Institutions have never seized to exist.”
On security, President Buhari said that his administration had been able to recover territories occupied by terrorists before his coming to power, just as he said that some abducted Chibok School girls were freed and all the abducted Dapchi School girls except Leah Sharibu, whose is yet be freed from her abductors.
The president, who vowed to secure the release of Sharibu, appealed to Nigerians to let go off negative beliefs and support the APC government in its goals as well as give him another chance to complete his good works by voting him for a second term in 2019.
Fashola, who later spoke in his own capacity as a grand patron of the Club, appealed to the club chairman, Mr Olabanji Oladapo, to lift sanctions against some erring members in the spirit of the anniversary.
Lagos State governor, Mr Ambode, in his goodwill message, commended the club for its contributions to both the public and private sectors of the economy.
Ambode, who was represented by Dr. Adebule, in particular, commended the club’s efforts in promoting unity across cultures in the country and enhancing the socio-economic development of the state, saying that the state government “will continue to accord pride of place to social clubs in the state because we believe they have very important roles to play in ensuring social stability, promoting understanding and cooperation which are critical to economic growth, prosperity and general development.”
Chairman, Island Club, Mr Olabanji Oladapo, in his remark, prayed for the continued progress of the members of the club as it celebrated its 75th anniversary.
He said that the purpose of the lecture was to contribute the club’s knowledge to key sectors of the nation’s fabric.