President Muhammadu Buhari has reaffirmed that agriculture remains key to Nigeria’s economic diversification efforts.
According to Buhari, the sector has been a consistent driver of the non-oil sector contributing 22.35 percent and 23.78 percent to the overall GDP in the first and second quarter of 2021.
In his Independence Day Address on Friday in Abuja, the president noted that the agriculture sector has seen significant private sector investments in almost all areas of the value chain.
He said, “I am also proud and delighted to state that our economic diversification strategy remains on course with the persistent increase in Non-Oil Sector contribution to GDP.
“To further enhance food production, we have completed several new dams and are in the process of rehabilitating several River Basin Development Authorities to enhance groundwater supply for rainfed agriculture as well as surface water for irrigation agriculture.”
Buhari, however, said that despite the increase in the country’s food production capacity, food prices have been skyrocketing due to artificial shortages created by middlemen.
These Middlemen, the President stated, have been buying and hoarding essential commodities for profiteering.
To address the challenge, Buhari has directed the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) to rehabilitate the National Food Reserve Agency and work with security agencies, the Nigerian Commodity Exchange, and the National Assembly to find a lasting solution to the disruptive and unpatriotic hoarding activities in the country.
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