The Chairman, MTN Nigeria, Dr Pacal Dozie, on Monday said that Nigeria’s failure to prioritise agriculture over proceeds from oil had positioned the country wrongly.
Dozie in Lagos said that the time had come for Nigeria to de-emphasise its over-dependence on oil, and urgently begin to glamorise agriculture.
“We have over these years positioned Nigeria wrongly, because we have positioned this country mainly as an oil producing nation, when we are really an agricultural country.
“We have to get every person in government to realise the urgent need for us to go back to agriculture.
“We urgently need a shift to agriculture. We need to really glamorise agriculture so that our young men and women no longer see agriculture as a menial thing,’’ he said.
The banker and industrialist said that it was imperative for agriculture to be made interesting to young Nigerians, who have yet to know the huge potential in agriculture.
Dozie also said that for Nigeria to be industrailised, more Nigerians, especially the private sector, should be encouraged into agriculture.
The MTN Nigeria Chief also enjoined Nigerians currently in the nation’s oil industry, to begin to look at the possibilities of investing in the development of the nation’s agriculture sector.
“We all, whether we are directly involved in agriculture or not, should begin to see how our work would impact on agriculture.
“We need to know that from agriculture, we can feed ourselves, create employment and earn foreign exchange for ourselves and our country,’’ he added.
Major crops cultivated in Nigeria include beans, sesame, cashew nuts, cassava, cocoa beans, groundnuts, gum arabic, kolanut, maize (corn), melon, millet, palm kernels, palm oil, plantains, rice, rubber, sorghum, soybeans, bananas and yams.
In the past, Nigeria was famous for the export of groundnut and palm kernel oil. (NAN)