Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has stated that investments in agriculture will help the nation tackle youth unemployment.
Speaking during a courtesy visit by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh and Minister of State for Agriculture, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, at the Government House Port Harcourt yesterday, Governor Wike said agriculture is essential to the revival of the nationâ€™s economy.
He said: â€œIf Nigeria must move to the next level, agriculture is key. To reduce unemployment, we must focus on agriculture.â€
The governor lauded the Minister of Agriculture for displaying maturity by ensuring that the issues of food production are insulated from politics.
The governor said his administration is developing a public private partnership model to enhance the development of agriculture.
He said: â€œWe are developing the cassava factory to improve the commercial farming of the product. We are also working with a private company to revive our rubber factory.â€
He said his administration was working with the Rivers State University to revive the College of Agriculture at Onne for the training of agricultural professionals.
Wike said the state government would collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to improve key aspects of the state agricultural sector.
In his remarks, Minister of Agriculture, Ogbeh, said unless the youth are reintroduced to agriculture, the country will always have security challenges as most urban youths are idle.
He said issues of agriculture must be placed above politics in the overall interest of the country.
The minister said Rivers State has the potentials to be a major source of fish for the entire country.
The Ministers of Agriculture and all the Commissioners of Agriculture are Rivers State for the National Council of Agriculture.