Nigeria’s potential as the giant of Africa may be redefined if the Presidential candidate of Accord Party, Isaac Babatunde Ositelu, makes good his promise to turn Nigeria to the food basket for the West Africa sub-region during his tenure as the President of the largest populated country in Africa. He assured that not only will the nation be self-sufficient in food production for local consumptions, the nation would also embark on export of food crops to countries in the sub-region.
He said that Nigeria is blessed with very resourceful and enterprising population, excellent weather and expansive land area good enough for large scale food productions. According to him, the tertiary institutions; particularly the Universities of Agriculture and the relevant stakeholders in the agricultural value chain as well as financial institutions would be networked to form a coalition of support system in the sector.
In a statement released to the media on Saturday in Lagos, Ositelu stressed that with the resources available in the country, hunger ought to be a rear feature of the nation’s socio-economic make up. According to him, the visionary plan of Accord Party is to have hunger banished from the land by the guarantee of at least two square meals for every citizens of Nigeria.
Ositelu, however, said that for Nigeria to come out of the present state of despair in its socio-political and economic travesty, the Nigerian electorates must reject the candidacy of Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). This daring charge was made by Ositelu, who said that the candidates of both APC and PDP were part of the grand designs that led to the current misery and hopelessness in the country.
He said that the political leadership of Nigeria needs a break away from the old order that plunged the country into the abyss of low self-esteem, hunger, disease and backwardness as a nation. He said that the recent rating of Nigeria as the poverty capital of the world and its latest ranking as the third most terrorised nation of the world, are demeaning for the potentials and the huge image of Nigeria as a nation.
Promising a new beginning and a fresh start that would lift the nation out of the woods, he said that if voted into power as the next President of Nigeria, he would embark on economic rejuvenation that will bring prosperity to all parts of the country. Ositelu said that the economic blueprint of his party would focus on empowerment for the energetic and youthful population of Nigeria.
According to him, the Accord Party led government will create clusters of micro economic centres across the six geo-political zones of the country. He said that his government will identify niche business opportunities and vocation in each of the geo-political zones and provide the needed funding for trainings and skills development that will lead to the teeming youths becoming employable, employer of labour and generating economic activities that support GDP growth.
The Accord Party Presidential hopeful said that solving the humongous economic challenges facing the nation does not require rocket science. He said that by adopting the backward integration economic policy, he could reverse the trending rural-urban migration currently plaguing the nation. He stressed that the economic activities to be generated in each geo-political zones of the country would help to stem the population drift from the rural areas to the urban centres.
He said that the comprehensive policy document of his government will ensure the provision of reliable and clean energy in the various critical masses across the country. According to him, industrial parks and markets as well as manufacturing hubs across the country would be given focussed priority in the provision of electricity, portable water and critical infrastructure that will help to grow and develop the nation’s economy.
Ositelu said that his government would carry out the mapping of the nation’s current and future manufacturing hubs, industrial parks and markets so that information sharing critical for support services could be easily accessible for operators in the various sectors of the economy. He assured that building and sustaining the rural roads would be given a pride of place in the policy drive to connect the nooks and crannies of the economic roadmap of his government.
He said that the federal government under his leadership would walk hands in gloves with the various arms and tiers of government to ensure that the complex intrigues that often setback economic recovery and growth is made a thing of the past. He said that by diversifying the economy, each state would be encouraged to focus on its area of strength where federal government and requisite global development partner agencies will join hands to make such efforts profitable and rewarding for the local communities in each state. According to him, the short, medium and long term policy vision of the Accord Party led government is to have manufacturing and/or agro-business located at every local government in the country.
The presidential hopeful stressed that the period when cocoa produce left Nigeria only to return into the country as chocolate and other derivatives will be a thing of the past. He said that in each of the agricultural produces, government would create the enabling environment whereby there would be robust value-chains that will guarantee economic prosperity for the farmers and other sector investors.
Ositelu said that by creating a unique database for the manufacturing, agro-business and production hubs across the country, the Nigerian and foreign investors will have access to relevant information that would fast track participations in the industrial, manufacturing and agricultural sectors. He said that the promise of shared prosperity for all Nigerians is a sure way that government intends to use for curbing the trends of brain drain and needless search for greener pastures across the globe by the human resources produced in the country.
According to him, if the Central Bank of Nigeria’s report that the country had saved $21billion from foods imports within 24 months, the Accord Party led government will triple that record by long term and integrated development of the food chain with the focus on local food productions.
He assured that the apex bank and the deposit money banks would be given needed policy supports to enhance their resources deployment for growing the agro-business.