Kwara Governor Calls For North Agric Summit To Stem Dependence On Oil Money

Kwara State Governor, Dr Abdulfatah Ahmed, has called for the convocation of an Agric Summit by the 19 Northern States to chart a roadmap for the development of agriculture as agribusiness rather than depending on oil revenues.

Governor Ahmed said this in a lecture he delivered at the inauguration of New Leadership and Public Lecture organized by the Arewa Consultative Forum, entitled: “Northern Nigeria Economy free of Oil Revenue” held at the Musa Yar’Adua Indoor Sports Hall in Kaduna, northwest Nigeria.

He said the pursuit of an agriculture based economy should be premised on good governance, growth of the right institutions that would engender the implementation of appropriate policies as well as promotion of equity and respect for rule of law.

The Governor, however, counselled that it was necessary that agribusiness must not be mistaken for the adhoc and centralized approach to commercial agriculture that has been implemented over the years.

He suggested that states in the Northern Nigeria must explore holistic approaches to agricultural revolution in the region.

“I propose an approach that fully explore specified value chains by providing inputs to farmers and connecting them to consumers through the financing, handling, processing, storage, transportation, marketing and distribution of agro products,” the Governor said.

According to him, each point of this value chain promises significant opportunities for economic activities, job and markets that would also grow the revenues of other components of the chain especially the small holder and large commercial farming concerns.

He also explained that the agribusiness approach placed emphasis on value addition as opposed to the sale and export of primary produce that had dominated agriculture in the Northern and other parts of the country over the years.

The Guest Lecturer stressed that the approach engender the actualisation of forecast demand and financial returns.

According to him, “The demand driven approach ensures that farmers and others along the value chain know from the beginning who will buy their produce or require their services. Armed with that information, the farmer can, for example, raise credit and expand his business, safe in knowledge that the market for his produce is assured”.

The Governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Muktar Ramadan Yero, in his address called for unity among the 19 Northern States governors and elders in the region.

He stressed the need for the improved economic relations among the States in the northern part of the country based on their historical antecedents.

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