A member of the Lower Legislative Chamber, Nkem-Abonta Uzoma from Abia State, yesterday, urged the Federal Government to instigate an agricultural revolution, to avert revolt by the masses due to the hunger in the land.
In an exclusive interview with The Guardian, the lawmaker stressed the need for the Federal Government to pay attention to the issue of economic diversification, because total reliance on solid minerals alone will put the country in danger, adding that records available show that in the next few years, petroleum may not be prominent in the market.
He said: “To keep our economy going, we must seek viable options and agriculture is the immediate option and we know it. There is no broad platform to really diversify and also there is no legal plan on how we can mine our minerals. What have we done to put mining under check? Mining is done mainly by individuals without records or data; our resources are being mined by all sorts of people — Chinese, Indians illegally. We have more illegal miners in solid minerals than the legal miners.
“We can’t claim to be doing something if we don’t know what to do. We must have a broad policy on agriculture that will accommodate the youth. It is a whole lot of value change that agricultural policy must be one that local and state governments can key into, controlled and regulated by the Federal Government.
“The total number of tractors in one state of India is greater in number than all the tractors in Nigeria. For example, we farm cocoa but today there is no chocolate factory in Nigeria. We merely gather cocoa, sell out and then we spend millions of dollars on buying chocolate. We must be able to have a commodity exchange board.”