Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has restated the commitment of the Federal Government to diversify the nation’s economy through agriculture.
Osinbajo spoke yesterday during a town hall meeting at Kano Government House.
He said President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration would continue to discourage importation of goods which can be produced locally.
The vice president stressed that the government would not allow foreign items to dislodge local ones, insisting, “Nigerians must eat what we grow.”
“Our government would continue to promote local products by eating what we grow because if we don’t encourage our farmers by patronising local crops we would continue to rely on importation, which is one of the major contributors to the current state of our economy.
“The Federal Government will support farmers to produce tomatoes and encourage companies like Dangote tomatoes industry to manufacture locally. By doing so we would be creating employment opportunities for our youths, reduce importation, save our foreign reserve and support our farmers,” he stated.
Osinbajo regretted that the country still remains in the state of economic hardship due to continued destruction of oil pipelines by militant groups in the Niger Delta and massive looting of the nation’s wealth by past governments.
According to him: “The economy is still in recession because of the destruction of oil facilities in the Niger Delta. At the moment we are losing millions of barrels of crude daily, which amount to 60 per cent of total expected revenue to the government.
“When we continue to lose millions of barrels of crude you should know it is difficult for the government to meet its demands. More critical also is corruption. The previous government looted the common resource and refused to save.”
He, however, asked Nigerians to be hopeful and support government’s policy and commitment to manage the situation. He assured that the country would soon overcome these challenges.