The President of the 9th Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, has said the President Muhammadu Buhari All Progressives Congress, APC, Federal Government has spent more money to diversify and improve on the economy of the country, than any other past administration of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, while admitting that Nigerian youths today, are largely unemployed or under-employed,
Senator Lawan said this on Saturday, in a statement signed on Sunday, by his Media Aide, Ola Awoniyi, at the commissioning of a Poultry Farm Centre, which the National Agricultural Land Development Authority, NALDA, established in Gasamu, Jakusko Local Government Area, Yobe State.His exact words: “We have promised to diversify the economy of this country.
For more than 50 years, our economy had been dependent on one single commodity, and that is Oil.“Oil does not provide so many employment opportunities. There could be revenues, but definitely not the mainstream opportunities in terms of employment.
But when you diversify into agriculture, you would have much more people engaged, especially our youths who today are largely unemployed or under-employed.“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 fund, resources in agriculture than 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 had 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.“Of course, we still have to work to stop the smuggling of rice into Nigeria. But I want to assure you that the APC administration at all levels of government, from the Local Government to the State and Federal Government, will continue to work for diversification of the Nigerian economy.
“Only last month, the National Bureau of Statistics released the report that our economy has grown by 5.01 percent in GDP. That is to show that we are making progress.
We are not yet there, but we will be there by the Grace of God, and all indications are there that we will be there.“This is one way of doing that, and this is a very practical way of doing it. We have our youths who will be engaged. Presently, 30 youths will be engaged to manage the farm.
“This is only the direct employment on this farm. When you look at the indirect opportunities, when you establish poultry farms across this zone, you would have brought in many youths to manage the poultry farms.“Gasamu, because of this project, is now going to be prominent in the Nigerian map. And this is something that is very important for us as a community here.
“If someone will come from Kano. If someone will come from Imo. If someone will come from Akwa Ibom to buy chicks here, to go and grow them and sell them to make money, why can’t we in this community do the same?
“That means we should be able to have poultry farms coming up across this zone particularly in Jakusko Local Government.“This is one of the immediate benefits and I will urge our people not to lose the opportunity. I want to seize this opportunity also to appeal to NALDA that we want the capacity to go beyond 250,000 per annum. I want to assure you that our people will exhaust the 250,000 and they will need more.”More news later…