Olakiitan Victor in Ado Ekiti
The Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, on Tuesday told the federal government to immediately declare emergency in the agriculture sector to confirm that it is serious in the much proposed diversification of the economy.
Fayose, who said the step became imperative in view of the dwindling revenues from the oil sector, charged the federal government to vote more funding for agriculture, particularly for food production for states that are already incapacitated to carry out such responsibility.
The Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, and the founder of Afe Babalola University, Chief Afe Babalola(SAN), said the country can only have economic breakthrough only if serious investment is done in the agriculture sector.
Fayose who spoke at the commencement of the four day agricultural summit in Ado Ekiti, said the states had found it difficult to carry out diversification because they can’t discharge their responsibilities in the payment of workers’ salaries.
“The federal government should declare emergency in the agriculture sector, and give out bailout fund for the sector. What Nigerians need is food on their tables.
“It is sad that the state governments can’t diversify again because they are financially incapacitated, so the federal government must come to our aid, they must bail the people out. If emergency is declared in the sector and people are attracted into farming, they can use the gains to run around and better their lives,” the governor stated.
Fayose counseled the federal government to also do more by increasing electricity generation in the country and in provision of storage facilities to add value to agricultural products.