A ministerial nominee, Uchechukwu Ogah, says the nation does not need to depend on oil in creating job opportunities for the teeming population.
Ogah said this on Wednesday, while he was being screened by the Senate, a day after he and 42 others were announced as ministerial nominees.
“We don’t need to depend on only oil. Yes, oil is a cash-cow. But I believe that if we develop our agricultural sector, we can equally develop, create jobs for our teeming youths.
“For instance, if you build a farmland, when you can create over 150 youths by providing accommodation for them and you give them all the necessary amenities, I can tell you that these youths can turn over the entire piece of land to something that can create revenue for the entire country,” he said.
According to him, Nigeria has the potential of becoming a food-independent nation and even export food to other countries of the world.
“We have the capacity, we have the population, we have all the resources that is required – the human capital (which is the best that is required). So I believe that if we can do that, we can actually improve in this nation,” he said.
Speaking on industrialisation, the Abia State-ministerial nominee called for the citing of industries in rural areas rather than cities.
Explainng how agriculture can be developed, he shared from the eastern region under the leadership of then-Premier Michael Okpara.
“By 1966, the eastern region was the fastest growing economy in the whole world. What did Doctor Okpara do? He went to the University of Nigeria and picked the best and created endless orchards in all the eastern region.
“And then we started exporting agricultural products. By 1966, the eastern region had the best balance in their account.
“I believe that if we develop our agricultural sector, we can also create jobs for our teeming youths,” he said.
When asked for his contribution to developing the Petroleum sector should he be assigned Petroleum Minister, Ogah explained that once the Petroleum Industry Bill is passed, it will attract investors that will, in turn, boost the nation’s fortunes.