Commissioner for Agriculture, Lagos State, Ms. Abisola Olusanya.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya has advised that the only way for Nigeria to survive is through agriculture. She made this known during the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Agricultural and Allied Group, 2022 Agro Fair and Symposium, Themed; “Agribusiness: The Sustainable Panacea for Nigeria’s Economic Growth”, held in Lagos. According to the commissioner, until we see reasons why we need to take agriculture as the only way of surviving the economy, the country will still be the same, as “Agriculture is the only sector that can hold the nation together. Nigeria will remain as it is if we did not take part in producing part of what we consume”.
She said Nigerians need to participate more in production activities, stressing that agriculture cuts across from ‘farm to plate’ and not limited to producing alone. “Opportunities exist when we have gaps and those gaps are filled for there are a lot of space people can tap in to add their own value to the economy from production to the final consumer”. What are we doing to connect to the opportunities and add our own quota to the nation’s economy? We need to start being a part of what we consume rather than being a spectator for we all have a role to play. The commissioner maintained that agriculture is not for poor or for some selected people. Rather, it is everybody’s business and there is the need for parents to encourage their children to go into agriculture rather than advising them to study other courses as there seem to be more opportunities in agriculture than other sectors.
Agriculture is the only sector that can help reduce unemployment in Nigeria and we need to do more to get it on track and make the nation work. Ms. Olusanya noted with dismay, the alleged rate at which Nigeria appear to be going down in African ranking due to some factors such as insurgency and not producing enough as foreigners are said to be the one controlling the economy, a development that is having negative effects on the Naira. She observed that the number of farmers is reducing due to insecurity in the country, stressing that the increased invasion and security breaches had assumed frightening proportions as there is hardly any part of the country that can be said to be safe while appealing that the precarious security situation in the country be accorded necessary attention.
Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya (Left) and Mrs. Victoria Madedor of BOI.
Speaking at the occasion, the Group Head, Business Development, Bank of Industry (BOI) Investment and Trust Co. Ltd, Mrs. Victoria Madedor spoke on “Financing Agribusiness: The Patient Capital Vehicle”, took time to explain the rudiments of business financing, inherent risks and opportunities. She also talked about the various interventions that BOI can offer to boost agribusiness development in the country.
Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya (Right) and Representative of LCCI President, Mrs. Daramola Bamidele.
The LCCI President, Asiwaju (Dr.) Michael Olawale-Cole appreciated participants for their commitments, stressing that the event was very strategic and timely to be given opportunity to discuss the economy of the country. He said the programme had addressed the various challenges affecting the agricultural sector in the country and particularly in the agricultural value chain, stressing that agriculture accounts for 40 percent employment generation and contributes more to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The President, who was represented by the LCCI Vice President, Mrs. Daramola Bamidele, said the sector had being bedeviled with insecurity and some of policies that were not favourable.