By Ese Ekama
President African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, says Nigeria has all it takes to be “a power house in food and agriculture” on the African continent.
Adesina, who said this on the sidelines of the Bank’s Annual Meeting in Malabo, expressed delight that the country had introduced a lot of agricultural initiatives to boost food production.
According to him, this will go a long way in ensuring food security in Nigeria and the continent at large.
Adesina said that with President Muhammadu Buhari’s led Federal Government’ present focus on agriculture, it would further boost the nation’s economy.
“I believe that agriculture is not a way of life, agriculture is a business, Nigeria must be a power house in food and agriculture.”
According to him, this is because Nigeria is the only country like the AfDB that has a fund of its own
“We have the African development bank, we have the African Development Fund and we have the Nigeria Trust Fund.
Adesina said that Nigeria was a big player on the continent, especially in the area of trade.
“If you look at the economic growth rate in Africa today, you look at West Africa, it is only about 3.3 per cent, East Africa is about 5.7 per cent and North Africa is about 4.3 per cent
“But the 3.3 per cent part of it is because of the weight of Nigeria in terms of the economy.
“Nigeria has always been a leader and I am sure it will continue to do so,””
The AfDB president said though the country was just coming out of recession, but however, said that he was positive that the future was bright economically as Nigeria addresses critical structural problems of energy, infrastructure, and making agriculture business.
“We are just putting in about over 230 million dollars in the north of Nigeria with the North East reconstruction effort, so as to build more hospitals.
“Construct more roads and support a lot of displaced people that are in that particular area, it is part of what they call the Buhari plan.
“And the other thing that we are also doing is that we have provided 200 million dollars to help to deal with the liquidity causing problem that the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trader (NBET) company has, so that the electricity system in Nigeria can work.”
According to him, these initiatives will also go a long way in creating jobs for Nigerians.