APC govt committed more resources to diversify economy -Lawan

By Peter Usman://

Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan said at the weekend that President
Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress, APC, has committed
more resources to diversify the nation’s economy than any previous

Lawan insisted that no past government had invested as much resources
particularly in agriculture as the Buhari government had done.

The Senate President, according to a statement by his Special Adviser
on Media, Ola Awoniyi, spoke on Saturday at the commissioning of a
Poultry Farm Center which the National Agricultural Land Development
Authority, NALDA established in Gasamu, Jakusko Local Government Area
of Yobe State.

He said: “We have promised to diversify the economy of this country.
For more than 50 years, our economy had been dependent on one single
commodity and that is oil.

“Oil does not provide so much employment opportunities. There could be
revenues but definitely not the mainstream opportunities in terms of
employment. But when you diversify into agriculture, you would have
much more people engaged, especially our youths who today are largely
unemployed or under employed.

“So we are diversifying the economy of Nigeria through agriculture and
we have done so much as a country, as a government, in the last six
years or so.

“No previous administration in Nigeria has committed as much funds,
resources in agriculture than this administration. And I stand to be
contradicted, that if not because of resources that we have put in
agriculture sector, Nigeria would still have been importing the food
that we eat.

“But everyone knows that the rice import bill had gone so low, almost
to nothing today. We used to spend billions of dollars every year to
import rice but we have been producing the rice that we eat.

“Of course we still have to work to stop smuggling of rice into
Nigeria. But I want to assure you that the APC administration at all
levels of government, from the local government, to the state and
federal government, will continue to work for diversification of
Nigerian economy.

“Only last month, the National Bureau of Statistics released the
report that our economy has grown by 5.01 percent in GDP. That is to
show that we are making progress. We are not yet there but we will be
there by the Grace of God and all indications are there that we will
be there.”

Lawan thanked Buhari for given the approval for the farm, saying it
was in fulfilment of the promise made by the President on behalf of
APC in 2015, to provide employment opportunities for the youths.

“This is one way of doing that and this is a very practical way of
doing it. We have our youths who will be engaged. Presently, 30 youths
will be engaged to manage the farm.

“This is only the direct employment on this farm. When you look at the
indirect opportunities, when you establish poultry farms across this
zone, you would have brought in many youths to manage the poultry

“Gasamu, because of this project, is now going to be prominent in the
Nigerian map. And this is something that is very important for us as a
community here.

“If someone will come from Kano. If someone will come from Imo. If
someone will come from Akwa Ibom to buy chicks here, to go and grow
them and sell them to make money, why can’t we in this community do
the same,” he stressed.

The Executive Secretary of NALDA, Hon. Paul Ikonne said the farm
center was established on the mandate of President Buhari in order to
empower the youths and get the country closer towards achieving food

“Mr President has directed NALDA to make agriculture attractive for
our youths and for NALDA to produce what we are to eat and for
Nigerians to eat what we produce.

“So we are here today for the commissioning of this 30,000-bird
capacity which is specially made to produce Noiler.

“This center is like a reproduction centre that will be producing our
locally improved birds that will be distributed across the country,”
Hon Ikonne said.

He said the farm had the capacity of generating 850 eggs daily and
N1.1 million daily from the sales of birds only.

Ikonne said the birds also had incubator centre in order to produce
day old that would be used to establish or sent to other poultry
houses across the country.

He said the revenue projection is that the farm center which entire
capacity is to have 250,000 birds would generate not less than N400
million annually.

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