18 September 2014

FG saves N1tr annually on food importation -Senator

Former Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Interior, Senator Nimi Barigha-Amange, on Thursday in Abuja stated that the Federal Government has been saving about N1trillion annually from importation of food because of the revolution going on in the Agricultural sector.
He therefore predicted that by 2017, Nigeria would be a great exporter of both processed and raw food.
Amange who is Chairman, Governing Board of Federal University of Petroleum, Efunrun, Delta state, stated these during the inauguration of a Non-Governmental Organisation, United for Goodluck Success, said President Goodluck Jonathan would provide direction for Nigeria and whoever will take after him after he might have completed his second term in 2019.

According to him, the President has recorded major transformations in key sectors of the nation’s economy which he would only complete if given the second term by Nigerians, adding that the ongoing revolution in the agricultural sector has led to a significant reduction in the cost of importation of food into the country.

He said, “In Agriculture, we have seen the light and we are moving towards achieving success. If Jonathan continues for another four years, I believe that in 2017 definitely (you can question me if it doesn’t happen), Nigeria will be a great exporter of both processed and raw food. There is agricultural revolution, transport revolution and the economy is moving and our GDP is above 60 per cent.

“Before Jonathan came in, we were spending over N1trillion on the importation of food and right now we are spending N0.4trillion. We are saving N1trillion on importation per annum. Our rice mills are working, before the President came we had just two and there are many of them now working.

“We have silos that can take care of surplus food. In agriculture we have seen the light and we are moving towards achieving it. If he continues for another four years, Nigeria will be a great exporter of both processed and raw food.”

The former Senator who was a South-South delegate to the just-concluded National Conference said the transport sector has made a lot of difference since the arrival of Jonathan.

“You must have seen the difference. When did you ride in rail last? You know when we were small we used rail a lot but everything went comatose. This man has brought back rail and that’s the only way you can save your road. If you can overhaul all the heavy equipment through the rail, the road will be safe”, he stressed.

Amange also said the decision of President Jonathan to create six additional Federal Universities was in the best interest of Nigerian people, adding that the existing 48 were not enough to cater for the University education of Nigerian youths.

“In education, he has done a lot. How many past Presidents created six Universities at a go and when he created those Universities, people started complaining ‘why can’t he equip the existing Universities’?  But they have forgotten that Nigeria has 170 million people with only 40 Universities and may be with another 40 private Universities  The 40 Universities are really not enough. The United States of America has over 350 million population and US has 5700 Universities. Nigeria still lacks Universities,” Amange stated.

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