Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State said on Friday that Nigeria needs to be innovative and competitive, if agriculture would be the option to generate revenue and create employment.
Aregbesola said this at the All Nigeria Editors’ Conference in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
He said it was wrong for the nation to be exporting its raw agricultural produce when it could get more revenue if put into secondary use.
According to Aregbesola, Nigeria has no business exporting agricultural produce when it cannot meet the feeding demands of her citizens.
He said: “The Central Bank of Nigeria is spending over $40 billion annually to import food.
“This is totally abnormal and unacceptable.
“Any country that cannot feed its citizens is still underdeveloped.
“We cannot continue like this if we must overcome the current challenges in the long run.”
Aregbesola said the nation must realise that agriculture was primarily for food production.
“The citizens must feed well to be healthy and only well fed citizens can drive the economy of a nation.”
The governor stressed the need to add value to agriculture produce before exporting them.
The governor advocated for an integration of agriculture policy into government programmes where civil servants should farm.