The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development in Nigeria, Mr, Audu Ogbeh says good access roads in the country can boost agricultural production, open up business opportunities and further unite the Country.
Mr. Ogbeh stated this in an interview with Journalist in Otukpo Local Government Area in Benue state after an inspection of Federal roads in Otukpo Township.
“The biggest means of transportation in Nigeria today is road transport, the rail system is just being rehabilitated which will take a long while. The road is only means of transportation of both human being and goods in Nigeria. Industrial goods and agricultural goods are produced in the rural areas and go to different part depends on economic endowments.
“Farmers grow crops in the North which are needed in the South, some grow in the South needed in the North, the fastest and easier ways of moving these goods is by road, that is why we have to open the road because it is also help in unite the country,” he noted.
According to the minister, roads are not just the movement of products but a source that links and bring people together there unifying the entire country.
“People unite because they can reach each other, drive home. People live in different part which they go home often and during festivity. If the roads are not there they cannot reach each other.
“Uniting the country is one of the major reason and the moving of goods, the improvement of commerce and strengthens wealth and well-being is the advantage of road.”
On the soon to be finished Loko/Oweto road, the Minister said the area houses so much Fadama lands which the locals can utilize by going into rice farming which would in turn open up .
“Like the Agatu area we went today, when the road is finished, there is so much Fadama by the river side, rice, beans, sorghum will increase and some of these can actually be put in bagging by the River Benue for reserve and movement to south, Abuja or Kano.
“The Oweto Bridge is very strategic for commerce, human traffic, unification of Nigeria and movement of industrial goods because things happen from the agriculture to industry from industry to manufacturing and so on.”
The Minister added that in the last 34 months figures from the Central Bank of Nigeria shows that Nigeria has saved 21 billion dollars from importation of food.
He said a day will come that that Nigeria would boast of saving 30 billion dollars and hopefully it will drop to the lowest minimum so that Naira can appreciate and instead of shipping money to other countries Nigeria will be the ones exporting rice to them.