Diversifying into agriculture will open up more job opportunities for unemployed Nigerian youths, Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan has said.
According to Lawan, there could be revenues in an oil-based economy, however, oil would not generate vast opportunities for the teeming youths.
The Senate President made this known at the commissioning of a Poultry Farm Centre established by the National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) in Gasamu, Jakusko Local Government Area of Yobe State over the weekend.
In his words, “We have promised to diversify the economy of this country. For more than 50 years, our economy has been dependent on one single commodity and that is oil. Oil does not provide so many employment opportunities.
“So, we are diversifying the economy of Nigeria through agriculture and we have done so much as a country, as a government, in the last six years or so.
“No previous administration in Nigeria has committed as much funds, resources in agriculture as this administration.
“And I stand to be contradicted, that if not because of resources that we have put in the agriculture sector, Nigeria would still have been importing the food that we eat. But everyone knows that the rice import bill has gone so low, almost to nothing today.
“We used to spend billions of dollars every year to import rice but we have been producing the rice that we eat,” Lawan added.
The Senate President also thanked President Buhari for approving the establishment of the farm adding that it was in fulfillment of the promise made by the president in 2015 to provide employment opportunities for the youths.
Lawan, therefore, appealed to NALDA to enlarge the capacity of the farm beyond 250,000 birds per annum
On his part, Executive Secretary of NALDA, Hon. Paul Ikonne noted that the farm centre was established on the mandate of Mr President to empower the youths and to get the country closer towards achieving food security.
Ikonne disclosed that the farm has the capacity of generating 850 eggs daily and N1.1 million daily from the sales of birds only.
The farm, the Ikonne revealed, also has an incubator centre to produce day-old chicks that would be used to establish or sell to other poultry houses across the country.
The revenue projection of the farm with 250,000 birds capacity is to generate not less than N400 million annually, Ikonne noted.
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