…Insists Chinese loan can be paid with agricultural exports
From MauriceOkafor, Enuguu
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress(APC),Mr Osita Okechukwu,who is the current Director General of Voice of Nigeria(VON) has advised Nigerian Youths to embrace agriculture as a sustainable means of survival,by cewing into ‘BUGREV'(Buhari’s Agrarian Revolution)project.
Mr Okechukwu made the appeal during his meeting with All Progressives Congress (APC) youths in Enugu at the weekend.He said BUGREV will enhance food security in Nigeria and food exports to China,USA, Saudi Arabia and other foreign countries.
His words,“It’s high time our youths join the Buhari’s Agrarian Revolution (#BUGREV) for food security and food exports. Methinks Nigeria can repay the Chinese loans with food exports. China imports food in billions of dollars annually.”
“BUGREV is the resorgimento for food security and food export to China, United States, Saudi Arabia and host of other countries. It is painful that our youths are not engaging sufficiently in agriculture, especially the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP), an arm of Buhari’s Agrarian Revolution devoted to young farmers, women farmers and poor subsistence farmers.”
He expressed optimism that the rate of insecurity that had prevented people from going to farms will reduce drastically,more especially as President Buhari has ordered the arrest of those Herdsmen bearing arms without Licence,even as states like Enugu have employed forest guards as measure to curtail farmers/herdsmen clashes. While the South West zone engaged the services of ‘Amotekun’
The VON DG said improved agricultural production will boos rail haulage at home front in as much as food exports to China will definitely balance Nigeria’s trade deficit with China.
According to him, China’s total food imports amounted to 58.28 billion dollars last year, up 25 percent year-on-year, while the annual average growth rate over the previous five years was 5.7 percent.
Okechukwu was optimistic that with improved agriculture,Nigeria will have a fair share in over $50 billion dollars China spends on food imports.
He stated,”Is it not embarrassing that advanced countries like Europe and United States have more food to export than agrarian country like Nigeria. Yet every crop and every livestock on earth is adaptable to one square meter or the other square meter in Nigeria”.
“Same with US which some years ago enacted AGOA for countries like Nigeria. And we have been unable to exploit it because of our over dependence on oil”.the VON DG stated.