The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has lamented that the over-dependence on oil is killing the nation’s economy.
Obaseki disclosed this when members of the Plantation Owners Forum of Nigeria (POFON), paid him a courtesy visit in Benin City.
He said the dependence on oil is unsustainable and that increased investment in agriculture will enable the country to grow sufficient produce and ensure food security, create jobs and improve the livelihoods of citizens.
The governor said, “Nigeria’s future looks bleak due to the over-reliance on crude oil. There is an urgent need to diversify and invest in agriculture, as the dependence on oil has not been able to enhance the global competitiveness of our economy.”
He said his administration remains committed to economic diversification through agriculture and will sustain programmes and reforms aimed at boosting the sector and ensuring food security.
“As a country, it is all about economic competitiveness. The current DNA of the Nigerian economy is being forced to change. That means our over-reliance on crude oil has not increased our global competitiveness, particularly in the oil trade.
“It’s really scary that we cannot continue in this direction. Last week, Indonesia and Malaysia banned the export of oil palm. Specifically for us in Edo, agriculture is key because food production is our priority. First, let’s feed ourselves and the extra we have, we will use it to trade,” he said.
Earlier, POFON Chairman Emmanuel Ibru, said Edo is one of the major palm oil-producing states in the country and most of their major stakeholders are from Edo.
He however commended the governor for his initiatives to boost agriculture development in the state.