The Federal Government has called on Nigeria Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, NACCIMA, to come up with blueprints that can aid the government to stop food imports into the country. President Muhammadu Buhari made the request during the 55th annual conference of NACCIMA with the theme ‘Policy Consistency in Agricultural Value Chain: A key to Social Economic Development.’ It took place in Calabar, Cross River State.
Represented by Alhaji Baba Umar Farouk, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, President Buhari, said that Nigeria used to be a major player in the global agricultural market before the emergence of crude oil in the 1960s; so Nigeria should look inward and start cultivating extensively once again rather than importing food.
“I would like to charge you to come up with recommendations for government consideration. Our goal will be to pursue the government supported private sector-led agricultural value chain, make agriculture more productive, efficient and competitive through the production of enough food for domestic food supply, create jobs along the agricultural value chain”, said the President.
According to him, Agriculture needed to be made more productive, efficient, and competitive in Nigeria, so that the country can be self-sufficient in food production and stop importing food from other countries.
Responding, the national President of NACCIMA, Chief Bassey Edem, said the private sector has confidence in Mr. President to deliver his promises, stressing “Your ability to do it for Nigeria has never been doubted. You have done it before, and we believe you will do it this time again.
“Without any fear of contradiction, I would like to assure Mr. President that we in NACCIMA share the same vision with your Excellency- to build a virile nation, with sustained growth and development in all areas of the economy. Mr. President, be assured of NACCIMA’s unalloyed support at all times. In this regard, we ask for more roles and more involvement in your government. We are always there for beckoning,” he said.
He assured that the deliberation frm the conference will go a long way in strenthening the operations of the Association, and indeed the organised private sector and putting the country number one producer of agriculturl products on the world map.