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“AGRIBUSINESS IS THE ONLY PANACEA TO ECONOMIC DOWNTURN IN NIGERIA” – MEZUO NWUNELI
An Agricultural Economist, Mr. Mezuo Nwuneli has revealed that one of the ways out of the economic recession the country is faced with is diversification into Agriculture Business. Mr. Nwuneli who is the Managing Partner, Sahel Capital Agribusiness Managers, made this known while delivering the 4th Convocation Ceremony Lecture on Thursday 13th July, 2017.
In a lecture titled, “The Business of Agriculture: Benchmarking and Attaining New Frontiers in Agricultural Development for Africa”, Mr. Nwuneli said with stable democracy, rich soil and good climatic conditions coupled with her large growing population, Nigeria has no reason for food deficit and insecurity. He added that with the growing GDP and being the biggest economy in Africa, the country should leverage on the unlimited opportunities in the agricultural sector to provide food for the Continent and shift focus from oil production.
The speaker who condemned Nigeria’s overdependence on oil revenue said presently, the country is not self-sufficient in food production with the importation of over 45 per cent of its food needs in wheat, rice, sugar, fish and milk. He further enthused that these foods can be produced locally and in abundance which will in turn build a stronger and healthier economy base for Nigeria. The guest lecturer noted that Agricultural transformation is not only about food production, according to him, it is also about growing the economy, therefore, viable policies and pro-activeness should be seen on the part of the government to encourage individuals and private organizations to explore the sector.
Mr. Mezuo Nwuneli while concluding his presentation encouraged farmers to explore the opportunities in mechanized farming through the production of Integrated Cassava processing (starch and sweeteners), Tomatoes processing and Integrated poultry productions whose demand, he noted, is on the increase.
In his closing remarks, the Chancellor, Dr. David Oyedepo applauded the brilliant presentation of the Guest Lecturer for bringing aboard facts and figures reflecting the state of Nigeria’s economy and the inexhaustible opportunities in agribusiness valid enough to proffer solutions to economy downturn and food insecurity in Nigeria. The Chancellor who enthused further by saying “Well done is better than well said,” urged individuals and different stakeholders to get into practicing agriculture rather than discussing it. He added that it is high time the country departed from theory to real practice in order to touch people’s lives.
Dr. Oyedepo, who emphasized the essence of the University education as being able to equip people’s intellectual capacity in adding value to the society, admonished Faculty not to deviate from the purpose in order to make the agrarian vision of the University a reality in the Continent. “There is no basis for importing food in a country so blessed like Nigeria. The Country imports almost everything because the time to sit and think is not there. Beyond certification, we must think real raw agricultural practice,” he concluded.
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Aize Obayan, in her remarks thanked the Guest Lecturer for adding value to the agrarian vision of the University while reiterating her commitment to raising an army of solution providers to the myriad of societal issues, hence the importance of the lecture delivered to the 4th Convocation Ceremony.
The distinguished Guest Lecturer at the 4th Convocation Lecture, Mr Mezuo Nwuneli
The Chancellor, Dr. David Oyedepo giving his remarks after the 4th Convocation lecture.
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Aize Obayan delivering her welcome address
A cross section of guests paying rapt attention to the 4th Convocation Lecture
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