Nigeria needs an agricultural blueprint to get out of recession, the Irish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Sean Hoy, has said.
Hoy, who spoke when he visited the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, in Abuja on Friday, also said Nigerians were presently suffering because the country had failed to leverage on its potential.
The envoy advised the Federal Government to involve farmers in the deployment of technology for mass food production.
Hoy said, “You need a national strategy that involves the farmers and the private sector. My Minister of Agriculture visited Nigeria last year.
“Nigeria is blessed with very good climate and very good soil. The farmers should be rejoicing that they are growing more produce. When I travel around the country, there is a lot of land and you still rely on import to survive.
“The capacity in Nigeria is enormous because opportunities abound in the country. And one of the reasons Nigeria is suffering today is because it has failed to leverage on its potential. You have the capacity to attract Foreign Direct Investment from any part of the world; from the biggest global companies with headquarters in Europe and Ireland.”
He added, “The essence of my visit is to collaborate with Nigeria in the areas of opportunities arising in Nigeria today. We have nine institutions. Some of them are universities, some of them institutions of science and technology. We are requesting a powerful delegation to visit Nigeria from these institutions where we have small number of Nigerian students.
“Today, Nigeria is in recession. One of the challenges it is facing is how to diversify the economy, which must be pursued. One of the reasons why people are suffering is because oil price is low.
“But the capacity in Nigeria is enormous because opportunities abound in the country. And one of the reasons Nigeria is suffering is because Nigeria has failed to leverage on its potential.”
The envoy added, “We have been successful in Ireland; that is why we want to share it with Nigeria, in addition to the opportunities and challenges in the future.”