Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State has called on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in the agriculture sector.
Fayose made this call while declaring open a four-day Agriculture Summit 2016 in the state.
He said the emergency must be in the critical sectors of the economy.
According to him, “If a nation doesn’t have a change of attitude, there is nothing like diversification. Nigeria deserves leaders,not rulers. We must drop the attitude to bring people down.
“Salaries are not enough to pay workers. It is sad that the state government can’t diversify again because they are financially incapacitated. States cannot fund agriculture because they are under perpetual bailout.
“The federal government should declare a state of emergency in agriculture. Not a state of emergency that you want to remove the governor. We must use the power given to us by the constitution for the people and not against the people.”
The Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, said the government was making efforts to diversify the economy from a monolithic economy based on oil.
Ogbeh, who was represented by a Director in the ministry, Mr Kolade Oladipo, said, “A nation that cannot feed his people is a failed state. Nigeria can’t afford to be among this, therefore, the need to re-orientate the people.”
In his keynote address, the founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, Afe Babalola (SAN), called for agricultural revolution that will bring about political and economic stability.
“The old system of using the hoe and cutlass for farming is most detestable. Politics is now seen as more lucrative than any other decent jobs in Nigeria. Hence people prefer it to farming.
“The banks have not made business venture easy in the Nigeria with interest rate of over 20 percent. Bank interest rate on loans has hit the roof to a point beyond which no investor can venture into agriculture with bank loan and end up with any profit at the end of the day.
“To cap the problems of agriculture confronting the nation is the absence of storage facilities for perishable agricultural products.”
“Families must be encouraged to come together and combine their lands to generate a large scale industrial farming,” he added.