President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has disclosed that that his administration has embarked on bold policy and institutional reforms aimed at adding 20 million metric tonnes of food to domestic supply and creating at least 3.5 million new jobs by 2015 in the agriculture and allied industries.
The President made this known on Tuesday while speaking at the formal opening of a meeting with members of the Eminent Persons Group on the Transformation of Nigeria’s Agricultural Sector at the World Economic Summit in Davos, Switzerland.
President Jonathan said that the present administration’s objective was to build on Nigeria’s tremendous natural resources, reverse the decline in the agricultural sector’s productivity which followed the discovery of oil, establish domestic self-sufficiency in food and make the country “a major net exporter of food”.
“Such a shift will not only reduce the billions of dollars we spend importing basic food items, but will also create millions of jobs, especially for our youth,” the President said.
He also told the gathering that his administration was wholly committed to a government-enabled, private sector driven transformation of the nation’s agricultural sector.
He further disclosed that the initiative to transform Nigeria’s agricultural sector through the private sector is already paying off with new private sector investments worth about Eight Billion U.S. Dollars now committed to agriculture.
Thanking members of the Eminent Persons Group for their support, he stated that their contributions will not only help to achieve food security for the nation, but also help to create more new jobs to take millions of unemployed youth off the streets and into productive employment.