Lawan: APC govt has committed more resources to development

Senate President Ahmad Lawan has said the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration under President Muhammadu Buhari had committed more resources to diversify economy than any previous administration in the country.

The Senate President said no past government had invested as much resources, particularly in agriculture, as the Buhari government had done.

Lawan spoke at the weekend while inaugurating a poultry farm centre the National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) established at Gasamu in Jakusko Local Government Area of Yobe State.

According to a statement by his Special Adviser (Media), Ola Awoniyi, the Senate President 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 underemployed.

“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 the Agriculture sector, Nigeria would still have been importing the food that we eat.

“But everyone knows that the rice import bill has 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 the diversification of Nigerian economy.

“Only last month, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released the report that our economy has grown by 5.01 per cent in the Gross Domestic Product (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. All indications are there that we will be there.”

NALDA Executive Secretary Paul Ikonne said the farm estate would generate N400 million annually from egg sales.

Ikonne said the farm estate, which houses 10 poultry pens and an incubation centre, is expected to produce about 250,000 boilers annually for sales.

He added that it is also expected to generate N8.160 million monthly from the sale of day-old chicks alone.

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