By Deji Abdulwahab
The Confederation of All Progressives Congress (APC) Support Groups has called on the Federal Government to diversify the nation’s economy from oil to agriculture revenue earnings.
It urged the government to go back to 1960s, where government invested heavily in agriculture and used its earnings to finance the national budget in the first Republic.
The Director-General of the group, Dr Kailani Muhammed, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Abuja, in commemoration of the 63rd independence of the country.
Muhammed recalled that in the 60s, the country produced rice to feed Nigerians and people in West Africa and earned foreign exchange from agriculture, particularly rice from Niger State.
He added that Kaduna for instance, produced maize that fed the country and West Africa.
According to him, Nigeria needs to shift from oil earning because, corruption in the sector, has destroyed all the strata of the economy.
“After first Republic, those our grandfathers in the likes of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Tafawa Balewa and others, what they had in their minds, I think, was the country itself and not about materialism.
“From 1983 when the military took over till date, it has not been well because corruption has destroyed all the strata of the economy.
“There is no reason why Nigerians should be poor. I don’t want to say the oil that we have is a curse on us,” he said.
He expressed optimism that the present administration, with its “Renewed Hope Agenda” would bring back the agriculture sector to boost the nation’s economy.
“With all indications President Bola Tinubu is willing to do that, as he continues the implementation of agricultural policy of the past administration, particularly now that he has declared the state of emergency in the agriculture sector.
“So, we hope that with all things being equal, it will work well for us, so that we will not depend on oil,” Muhammed said.
The director-general also urged Nigerians to borrow a leaf from an American man who was willing to die holding America’s flag because of patriotism and nationalism.
“This man believes in his country, what about us?. Unless we are able as a people to come together, to know that this country belongs to all of us and we don’t have any other country apart from Nigeria,” he said. (NAN)
Edited by Chinyere Nwachukwu/Isaac Aregbesola