55 years on, Nigeria yet to have Agric policy for development – Prof Ango Abdullahi

A former Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Professor Ango Abdullahi, has charged the federal government to come up with agricultural policy design for development for the country. “For the last 55 years, we have been arguing on the path to agriculture and development but unfortunately it has not translated to policy designs that will bring it forth for development,” the former ABU VC said.

Prof. Abdullahi stated this on Tuesday at the 3rd Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia Memorial Lecture held at the University of Abuja, with the theme: “Revolutionizing Agriculture for a New National Economy in Nigeria”. He said from 1914 to 1960 and, from 1960 to 1975, agriculture has sustained the country, saying external revenues are always from it. Prof. Ango, who was the Chairman of the event, said:  “The big story I always want to tell is that in 9 years of General Gowon Administration in the country, the period in which the country finds itself in civil war, with how expensive wars used to be, Nigeria did not borrow one Kobo to prosecute the civil war, everything within 80 to 90 percent was from agriculture and then the difference was in the management.”

“Ogbemudia is a hero in terms of what he has accomplished in administration and entrepreneurship and most importantly, he remained a very humble and friendly person and that is why he generated friendship far and near,” he said. He said: “Until we get back on track and look at the history of this country and the challenges it came through and the challenges faced by pioneer leaders in our history, we will continue to miss a lot of historical information and guidance.”

The Guest Lecturer, a former Minister of Finance and National Planning, Dr Kalu Odika Kalu, said to revolutionized agriculture, there should be enclosure requirements in the system to secure modern farmer’s basic capital asset which is  the land. He said to create a sea change in the rich and potentially vibrant modern sector requires an overhaul of the manpower training, research and regulatory agencies. Meanwhile, the Pro Chancellor and Chairman governing council of UniAbuja, Prof Sani Maikudi, in his remark said General Ogbemudia as Military Governor of the defunct Mid-West state and civilian governor of defunct Bendel state are a reference point worldwide. He said the university benefited from the landmark achievements especially in repositioning the university.


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