Obasanjo identifies Nigeria’s agric sector problem

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has identified lack of political will to implement various policies formulated by successive administrations in the agric sector as the bane of the growth and development of Nigeria’s agriculture.

The former President said that the country had enough policies on paper capable of transforming its agriculture sector to one of the most productive in the world, but for lack of proper implementation.

Obasanjo who spoke during the unveiling of a 10.5km ring road named after the Governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture and the institute’s Agricultural Transformation Building, in Ibadan decried the huge gap between research institutions and the smallholder farmers in the country.

This, he said, was the only way the existing gap could be closed in order to ensure total agricultural transformation.

While calling for the extension of the benefits of innovations and research breakthroughs to the ordinary farmers commended the efforts of the IITA in agricultural research development in Africa.

He however urged the institute not to rest on its laurels.

The former president eulogised the governor for supporting IITA through the construction of a perimeter fence within the sprawling complex, which he said was a demonstration of his administration’s support for agricultural development.

In his remarks, Ajimobi said that his support for IITA was in furtherance of his administration’s transformation of the agric sector.

The governor also acknowledged the contributions of the institution to the state’s agricultural development and the successful implementation of its various policies formulated to enhance the growth of the sector.

Ajimobi disclosed that the state had comparative advantage on a wide arable landmass, concentration of research institutes in Ibadan, clement weather, agriculture-friendly policies of the state and vast population.

In addition to these, he said that the … Read More...

AfCTA will go on without Nigeria – Obasanjo

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says the African Free Continental Trade Area (AfCTA) Agreement will not be hindered by Nigeria’s reluctance to sign up to the process.
Obasanjo made the remark Monday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, during the opening session of the Stakeholders’ Dialogue on Continental Trade and Strengthening the Implementation of the AfCTA.
The dialogue was organised by the African Union Commission (AUC) and the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa (CoDA).
Obasanjo was reacting to concerns raised by one of the discussants at the event, on the need for stakeholders to look into the implications of AfCTA without Nigeria, the continent’s biggest economy.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Nigeria, Benin Republic and Eritrea are the only countries yet to sign the AfCTA agreement, as the Agreement has achieved the number of ratification, 22 countries needed for its implementation.
Obasanjo, who recalled that Nigeria took over the processes leading to the AfCTA agreement from Egypt, wondered why it suddenly halted signing and was not even participating at the session.
He also recalled that Nigeria led the way, at ministerial level, with the government ready to be in Kigali, Rwanda, to sign up to the agreement, before the sudden turnabout.
According to Obasanjo, Nigeria should resolve its domestic intrigues and not bring such to the AU table.
“It is nobody’s fault if your country cannot resolve its domestic problem. If you (Nigeria) is not signing the agreement, it is unfortunate. AfCTA will go on without Nigeria.
“You will recall that this is the first time, since 1976, that Nigeria is not at the table of a major continental process. Nigeria should settle its problem at home and not bring it to the AU,’’ he said.
Obasanjo, who is the chair of the CoDA Board

National development must ensure advancement of human human life – OBJ

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Saturday said the concept of national development must ensure the advancement of human human life.
Obasanjo who spoke at the 2019 Synod of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Oleh, Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta, said national development should no longer be measured by economic growth alone. 
Obasanjo who spoke on the topic, “Mobilising Nigeria’s Human and Natural Resources for National Development and Stability” said,  “Until the last two or three decades of the last century (especially while the Cold War was still on), when nations talked about national development, the emphasis was more on the growth of the economy (or economic growth as measured by GDP per capita), that is infrastructure, industrial output and growth, etc.”
Obasanjo added that “except for the western nations perhaps, very rarely did the welfare and well-being of the individual citizen come into reckoning.”
“In fact, in some jurisdictions, the citizens themselves counted more as means of production, which explains the historical listing of population as one of the elements of national power. Human beings were expendable commodities in the quest for greatness – that can be reduced to a single dimension as economic creatures.
“Hence, GDP growth matters more than the welfare and well-being of the people.
“However, following the collapse of the former Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War in 1990, there emerged a changed notion of the concept of development which now holds that people must be at the centre of all development: in other words, the central focus of all development efforts (or national development) must be to ensure the advancement of human flourishing and expanding the richness of human life,” Obasanjo said.
Obasanjo added that according to this new thinking, the end point of any