Speaking on Tuesday in Geneva, Switzerland, President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria has assured that his administration’s implementation of the transformation agenda in the agriculture sector would create about 3.5 million new jobs in agriculture and allied industries, as well as add 20 million metric tonnes of food to domestic supply by 2015.
The president made this known at the formal opening of a meeting with members of the Eminent Persons Group on the transformation of Nigeria’s agricultural sector, President Jonathan said the current administration’s objective was to build on Nigeria’s “tremendous natural resources,” reverse the decline in the agricultural sector’s productivity which followed the discovery of oil, establish domestic self-sufficiency in food and make the country “a major net exporter of food.”
According to him, “such a shift will not only reduce the billions of dollars we spend importing basic food items, but will also create millions of jobs, especially for our youth. This shift will also drive agricultural industrialisation as more agro-allied enterprises are established to process and add value to local foods for domestic and international markets.”
He told the gathering that his administration was wholly committed to a government-enabled, private sector driven transformation of the nation’s agricultural sector. The president stated that government would continue to support public-private sector partnerships which reduced the costs of doing business in Nigeria, especially by providing critical infrastructure such as power, water and roads.