A chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC and Director General, Voice of Nigeria VON, Mr Osita Okechukwu has appealed to Nigerians, particularly leaders of the APC to key into the agricultural blueprint of President Muhammadu Buhari which he said is the surest way of meeting the presidential mandate to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years
Mr Okechukwu have the charge on Monday on Abuja during an interactive session with journalists.
He said; “Permit me to use this forum to appeal to all Nigerians to buy into the Buhari Agrarian Revolution – #BUGREV, as a Road Map to Nigeria’s Resorgimento.
Our people, especially the teeming youths and women, are yet to embrace this milestone as expected; hence one sincerely appeals to the fourth estate of the realm to join the enlightenment crusade and spread the good news.
“#BUGREV (Buhari’s Agrarian Revolution), which was launched on 17th November 2015, in the early stages of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, is a policy dear to Mr President’s heart and indeed his initiative touches on our common heritage and our uncommon Almighty God’s endowment.
“Guess what, even the membership and leadership of my great party that initiated the programme more or less ignored or did not accord it the import and urgency required. This is why I am making this passionate appeal to all Nigerians via the media”.
According to him, rice paddy production in Nigeria increased from 325,000 tonnes in 1969 to 5.1 million metric tonnes in 2019, growing at an average annual rate of 8.76 percent.
“Without prejudice to our Oil and Gas reserves, the innovation of our youths in the tech ecosystem, and our Small and Medium scale entrepreneurial skills, is the main beacon to actualisation of our giant status in Africa. As our subsistence farmers migrate to commercial farmers, we migrate from potential giant to substantive giant of Africa”, he explained.
Okechukwu noted that with massive mobilization, the agrarian revolution will balance Nigeria’s external trade deficit, assist in no small measure in offsetting her foreign loans and enhance her economic diplomacy.
“The truism is that in the five decades post 1970 Nigeria, almost two generations in sociological terms, no military Head of State or civilian President has deeply thought of pragmatically shifting our attention back to agriculture, mobilised men and material nor committed so much homogenous amount of money in the transformation and modernisation of agriculture in Nigeria than President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR.
“Hence the hashtag – #BUGREV (Buhari’s Agrarian Revolution), the untold story of bottom-top model of revival of agriculture, back to land, redistribution of income and construction of egalitarian society seamlessly. The agrarian revolution is, in other words, the solution and indeed panacea to palpable discontent, despair, gross unemployment and gross inequality in the country. We are among the top ten most populous countries of the world and we have the single honour of median age advantage of youths making over 60%. China, India and even USA do not have that median youth advantage, only Brazil and Indonesia approximate our ranking. However, this advantage also has disadvantages, this is what #BUGREV is set to correct.
“In other words, my canvas is that with #BUGREV our quest to lift 100 million people out of poverty in 10 years, the urgent need to halt all manner of insecurity bedevilling us and the imperative to reduce the stark economic inequality rests squarely on back to land.
“Even our desire for devolution of powers or restructuring will make better sense, and be more meaningful, for without economic prosperity, resorgimento of the middle class; restructuring no matter how well designed will only reinforce the Emperorship of our Governors. Therefore, it will spice our shared intendment for devolution of powers. This is a task that we must all embark on.
“The old axiom maintains that the happier and more prosperous the citizenry the less they succumb to the allure of stomach infrastructure and the more they enhance internal democracy. This is the bedrock of true democracy.
“Accordingly, in my candid opinion, #BUGREV is the Utility Bolt, to upgrade not only the 70% of Nigerians who are already in subsistence farming, but to motivate and mobilise more people, especially youths and women into agriculture”, he stated.