LCCI Agric sector decries N1trn annual spending on food importation

Posted by News Express | 31 July 2015 | 2,568 times

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Chairman, Agriculture and Non-Oil Sector, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industries (LCCI), Mr. Wale Oyekoya on Thursday decried the nation’s annual spending of N1 trillion on importation of foods.

Oyekoya lamented the development in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos while reacting to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s report on spending on food per annum.

According to him, it is alarming that such an amount is being spent on food importation per annum while only a meagre sum is being given to local farmers.

Some of the foods imported are rice, wheat and poultry products.

He stressed that, “It is a shame that the Federal Government is spending so much on foods that we can easily produce in the country.

“This act is just killing the economy as it is a clear means of siphoning money out of the country.

“This is some of the reasons why the dollar is going up and will not appreciate if nothing is done about it.”

Oyekoya said the incumbent administration should look into the plight of farmers with the aim of solving their problems.

He said that if half of that N1 trillion was injected into improving the lots of local farmers the nation would have enough to feed the population and export to earn foreign currency.

The chairman said the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration should focus on family farming instead of mechanised farming that benefited just few.

He said that government should encourage more than 70 per cent of farmers practicing at family which hitherto had been neglected.

Oyekoya said the government could help family farmers by providing them with modern equipment.

He also said the government should have tractors at the local government or senatorial district levels where family farmers could go and rent the equipment at subsidised rate.

Oyekoya said that family farmers had cooperative societies, adding that one of their major problems was inadequate funding.

He said that family farmers should also be provided with highbred seedlings so that they would get good yield during harvest.

Oyekoya said the Federal Government should ensure that the beneficiaries were those who had passion for farming.

According to him, spending so much to import foods that can easily be planted and harvested here if not stopped will continue to allow for corruption. (NAN)

Source: News Express

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