Nigeria still can’t feed itself – Buhari

President Muhannadu Buhari has said that, Nigeria is still facing the challenge of feeding itself and providing raw materials for industries through agriculture.

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President Buhari who stated this on Saturday at the opening of the 40th Kaduna International Trade Fair, however said that, the challenge remains, despite agriculture contributing 25.5 per cent of the Nigeria’s GDP and 50 per cent of its labour force.

Kaduna International Trade Fair is a 10-day an annual event organised by the Kaduna Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KADCCIMA), where both local and international business ideas and inventions are showcased.

Represented at the occasion by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelama, the President however identified creation of a strong linkage between agriculture and industry as a sure way of bringing about sustainable growth by creating new jobs, improving value addition.

According to the President, “Nigeria has continued to face the challenge of meeting domestic food requirements, providing raw materials for the manufacturing sector and export.

“Therefore, creating a strong linkage between agriculture and industry is a sure way of bringing about sustainable growth by creating new jobs, improving value addition.

“The move will also create wealth for farming communities, improve manufacturing output and enable roll-out of infrastructure around farming communities which will industrialise our country in the long run.” He said.

The President also described state governments as key allies for successful businesses in the country, adding that, their commitment is required for businesses to succeed.

“For instance, we rely on state governments to provide access to land, act as mediators in conflict prevention and resolution, link local Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to the supply chains of processing companies.

“States also provide the needed infrastructure to link farms to processing plants and markets, and above all, provide a conducive environment for businesses and their host communities to thrive.

“I am glad to say that we have such a partner in the Kaduna State Government.” He said.

Buhari however assured that, the Federal Government under him will continue to engage KADCCIMA and the organised private sector to catalyse investment and improve the ease of doing business.

n his own speech, Kaduna state Governor, Mallam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai while congratulating KADCCIMA for 40 years of successful trade fair outing and organisation of the private sector to contribute to national development, assured that, his would continue to build the needed human capital by equipping teeming youths in the state with skills for entrepreneurship development.

The Governor, who was represented by the Deputy Governor-elect, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe enumerated the successes of the state through its investment friendly environmentEarlier, President of KADCCIMA, Hajiya Muheeba Dankaka, described the 40th edition of the fair as unique, considering KADCIMA’s 40 years of contribution to the development of Kaduna State and the country.

She however commended the Federal and the Kaduna State Government for promoting the growth of the private sector in the state through various business-friendly policies.

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