He believes agriculture is a good means of stemming the tide of unemployment.
The Governor stated that the present economic situation had shown Nigerians the need to encourage farming as the only alternative to crude oil.
Aregbesola made the demand while addressing a gathering at the 6th convocation ceremony of Fountain University in Osogbo, the capital of Osun State.
He noted that there was no aspect of life that could do without agriculture, saying Nigerian graduates must henceforth stop searching for formal jobs that seem to be no longer in existence.
Food Production Capacity
The Governor stressed the need for productivity, resilience and hard-work among Nigerians, pointing out that the present nation’s economy demands one to be self-employed.
According to him, there is no other alternative to sustain Nigeria’s economy than to build the required interest in agriculture and brace up with anything that could promote food production capacity.
Mr Aregbesola held that Nigerians must, as a matter of urgency, invest in things that would prevent famine in the next five years if truly the nation was ready to overcome her present economic challenges.
Lamenting the dwindling revenues from the crude oil sales, Governor Aregbesola said “unless Nigeria sees the need to promote agriculture, efforts to bring back the dwindling economy may be gloomy”.
“There is need for us, especially our young graduates, to lead the nation in promoting agriculture as the only realistic surviving alternative to economy.
“We must embrace farming because it is only agriculture that has direct links to all aspects of life.
“Nigeria has grown to the stage her food production capacity must be urgently expanded to meet the general needs of the citizenry and as well enhance exportation.
“The time to enhance productivity has come. We must all embrace productivity. We must produce whatever we desire to consume,” he stressed.
Congratulating the graduating students, Aregbesola charged them to adapt to the virtues they acquired in the institution.
He advised them to get prepared for the challenges ahead and life after university which he described as “challenging”.
“You must all be prepared. The challenges ahead, especially at this period of over saturated tendencies of labour market, you need grim determination to succeed. You must be rational and critical in the application of the knowledge you have acquired”.
He further appealed to those who are using the precious and reputable name of Islam to perpetrate violence, saying “violence is directly antithetical to Islam”.
“All hands must be on deck to end terrorism in the country as the act is tantamount to the tenets of Islam.”
Earlier in his lecture, Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed, charged both private and public organisations in Nigeria on the need to invest more in education.
He said the country had gone to a stage where education should be seen by all as a bedrock for national development and called for the need to encourage participation in both basic and higher education.
Professor Rasheed, who is the Executive Secretary, National University Commission, said all hands must be on deck to promote tertiary education.
He implored stakeholders in the private and public institutions in the country to, as a matter of necessity, rescue the nation from her present educational backwardness by establishing more universities in the nooks and crannies.
Prior to the discovery of crude oil, agriculture use to be Nigeria’s economy mainstay, a position the Nigerian government is pushing to return the nation to by pushing for more youth involvement in agriculture.