Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said agriculture can be a significant contributor to government coffers amid tight fiscal revenue generation, especially in the States of the Federation.
He said this Tuesday while interacting with a delegation from the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission, who was on a courtesy visit to the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The vice president said what was required to boost resource mobilisation were the hardwork and dedication of all stakeholders in the sector.
Prof. Osinbajo, who spoke after listening to a presentation on the Commission’s framework for sustainable agricultural transformation in the states, said, “agriculture can be the solution to a lot of our IGR needs and a lot of our resource needs; it has been proven so many times that it is possible.”
The VP, while making reference to what was obtainable in the 1950s and 60s in the agricultural sector in the then regional governments, said, “the truth of the matter is that the difference between then and now is the political will. There is no question at all that there is far more information today than there was then but someone has to have the will to do it.
“There is no question at all, that any part of Nigeria, if there is sufficient dedication and hard work, can feed the entire country. There are smaller countries not up to the size of one State in Nigeria that are producing enough and exporting produce to other parts of the world.”
Osinbajo, who also acknowledged the importance of private sector collaboration in transforming agriculture, however, stressed the need for stakeholders to focus on research and development.
He said the progress made by some countries of the world, especially in the area of commercial farming have been hinged on research.
Earlier in his remarks, the Director-General of DAWN, Mr Seye Oyeleye, briefed the VP on the efforts made over the years, reporting that the commission had developed blueprints for the development of the health and education sectors in the six States of the South-West.
He also cited the revitalization of cocoa production and the framework for sustainable agricultural transformation in the region, among achievements recorded by the commission in the nine years of its establishment