Tinubu’ll steer the Nation away from mono-economy: Minister * says FG has taken decisive steps to redirect agriculture Stephen Olufemi Oni, Ilorin

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The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Doris Nkiruka Uzoka-Ante, has disclosed that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has taken decisive steps in redirecting agriculture in the country with special interest in crops.

The Minister, who disclosed this in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, over the weekend at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria, said the President specifically gave cocoa a priority in his recent directive to the Ministry.

Represented by Hajara Usman, a Director in the Ministry, the Minister stressed the need for cooperation and dedication from cocoa farmers across the country, adding that the President Tinubu is determined to steer the Nation away from absolute dependence on oil sector.

“We (the ministry) don’t see Cocoa as just an ordinary crop, we hold it in high regard and consideration. We believe that with collective efforts, we will further elevate the Cocoa sector,” she said, adding: “over the years, Cocoa farmers have achieved great success.”

She hinted that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved a ten-year plan for the improvement of the crop towards exportation assurance, adding that
the Federal Government is poised to strengthening the local currency and creating more jobs.

Also speaking, the President of Cocoa Farmers Association, Mufutau Abolarinwa, said agriculture remains the antidote to the underdevelopment and unemployment as well as social menace plaguing the country.

According to Abolarinwa, the attitude of various levels of government to the development of agriculture has heightened untold hardship and economic stagnation in the country.

He said: “You will agree with me that the oil has brought more doom, notwithstanding the seemingly grandiose structures that dot the entire Nigerian landscape.

“What is obvious is that agriculture will remain our answer to the challenges of underdevelopment, unemployment and the various social vices in the country.”

He, however, urged the government at all levels, especially federal government, to provide more agricultural inputs and cocoa seedlings to farmers in order to revamp cocoa production in the country, noting that support by government is imperative in view of the economic value of cocoa to the industrial development of the nation.


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