Diversification of the economy requires more than political slogans but the will to look beyond crude oil to generate needed revenue to fund the many basic needs of the people.
A member of the House of Representatives representing Bali/Gassol Federal Constituency of Taraba State, Alhaji Garba Chede, stated this while commenting on the paucity of funds in the Federation Account, following drop in oil prices in the international market.
The lawmaker said the federal government need to go beyond mere preachment of diversification and embark on actual policies and programmes, which would demonstrate its resolve to seek alternative means of generating revenues for development.
He explained that genuine diversification of the nation’s economy from crude oil to agriculture needs solid political will, concrete policies and commitment of resources to the agricultural sector to make it attractive, lucrative and therefore money spinning avenue.
The member of the House of Representatives said, unless the federal government makes the agricultural sector attractive, it would hardly attract the right calibre of personnel and the vibrant young persons into the sector.
Therefore, he said government should not relent efforts to strategise the sector by creating an atmosphere conducive for real big-time farmers, not middle men, to come into agriculture, mechanize farming, and stressed that reliance on crude implement for subsistence agriculture is no longer fashionable.
“It’s not that the youths are running away from farming and after politicians, no. The point is that they need jobs and the way farming is done is crude, primitive and not lucrative. I know that by the time this government puts in more resources to agriculture, it would attract them”, he said.
On the nation’s present economic hardship, the lawmaker said, the present administration is embarking on strategies to ensure the wellbeing of every Nigerian, appealing for patience to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Alhaji Chede also called on Nigerians to be law abiding in the interest of peace and good neighbourliness for the progress and development of the country.

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