The state of insecurity in Nigeria can be addressed with the aid of agriculture-based economic diversification. However, strong political will is required to develop and implement policies and strategies for economic diversification in the country.
These were the words of the former Deputy Governor of Kano State, His Excellency, Prof. Hafiz Abubakar at the 10th Convocation lecture of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike held on Friday at the Institution’s Senator Anyim Pius Anyim Auditorium.
Prof. Abubakar in the lecture titled, “Nigeria of Our Dream: Managing Security and Diversification of Nigeria’s Economy through Agriculture ” stressed that agriculture and national security are intertwined in the achievement of economic growth and wealth creation.
The convocation lecturer decried that rural banditry, kidnapping, herders-farmers clashes and the dreaded Boko Haram are causing low food production and hindering agricultural value chain in the nation. He called for strong political will to develop and implement policies and strategies to curb insecurity in Nigeria in order to create economic diversification in the country through agriculture.
Speaking earlier, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic, Prof. Udo Herbert described the topic of the convocation lecture as apt at a time the country needs a positive shift in her economic sector.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the occasion, Senator Chris Adighije pointed out that agriculture is vital in the economic sustainability of any country, lamenting that insecurity with its multiplier effects has caused great decline in the sector. Senator Adighije stressed the need for the revamping of the agricultural sector considering that alternative sources of energy has led to a downturn in oil revenue.
The occasion was attended by distinguished personalities amongst whom were the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Coscharis Group, Dr. Cosmas Maduka.
Guests at the convocation lecture were led to an exhibition by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Iwe. Various products from the University including improved crop varieties, organic fertilizers, processed food items, clothes and accessories, as well as household items were on display. The guests were later treated to a cocktail party at the Vice-Chancellor’s lodge.