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Gov’t has no excuse for food shortage in Nigeria – Ex-minister

A former Minister of Works and Housing, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe, has said that the government does not have any excuse for the current food crisis…

A former Minister of Works and Housing, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe, has said that the government does not have any excuse for the current food crisis in the country.

During a chat on Channels Television,  Ogunlewe expressed his worry about the current situation in the country, but said he was not surprised.

He blamed the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari for neglecting the academia, especially the universities and researchers, who were supposed to conduct research and develop modern ways of farming.

He said that for eight years, the government fought against the academic community, closed down universities, and denied them research grants.

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Ogunlewe, who is a lawyer and a former senator representing Lagos East Senatorial District, said that no country can grow without research.

He lamented that the professors in the universities are not involved in the agricultural sector because there are no funds for research, adding that Nigeria has over 20 universities and colleges of agriculture, with a combined land area of about 50,000 hectares.

He said, “I am very worried about what is currently going on in the country, but I’m not surprised because for eight years of the last administration, it was a fight against the academia: the universities, the researchers, people who are supposed to do research for your country and get modern ways of farming. But you fought them, closed down universities. No research. No grants.

“There’s no country that grows without research because the products from the farm are the products you can export. But why are the professors in the universities not involved? There are no funds for research.

“We have over 20 universities and colleges of agriculture. And the combined acres of these schools is about 50,000 hectares. Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta alone, has about 10,000 hectares. But there’s no investment in them, despite that they rely so much on research.”

Ogunlewe also urged the current government to invest in the agricultural institutions and research, saying that Nigeria has no excuse for food shortage, with all the resources and potential it has.

He said that research and innovation are key to solving the problem of food inflation, and enhancing food security and economic growth.

“So, it’s for the government to now invest in them. We don’t have any excuse for food shortage in this country, with all these institutions we’ve been investing on for years,” he said.

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