Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja
The Federal Government says it will commit more resources and devote considerable attention to agriculture by collaborating with genuine firms to ensure massive job creation and attainment of the nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.
It has in conjunction with some faith-based organisations concluded a summit on the development of agriculture in Nigeria.
In her address at the recent summit, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, said the event was organised based on the government’s desire for inclusive development.
She further stated that the government recognised the role of faith-based organisations as integral part of the broader civil society.
Orelope-Adefulire, who spoke in Abuja, said, “From the commencement of the implementation of the SDGs agenda in January 2016, the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs has been at the forefront of ensuring that the policy, financial and institutional frameworks needed for the attainment of the SDGs are concretely established, in addition to strengthening the relevant structures for mainstreaming, implementing, tracking, monitoring and reporting on the SDGs.
“The purpose of this summit therefore is to deliberate on how to strengthen our collaboration with the faith-based organisations in agriculture, to promote self-sufficiency and sustenance in food production and provide meaningful employment to our teaming unemployed population and diversify our economy away from oil dependence.”
She added, “In addition to this, we should be able as a nation to feed ourselves, add value and export excess, in accordance with goals 1,2, 5, 8,15 and 16 of the SDGs.”
Orelope-Adefulire noted that in line with the common adage, which says, “a hungry man is an angry man”, any hungry society or nation that failed to strive to be self-sufficient in food and drive away hunger and poverty would hardly enjoy sustainable peace.
She stressed that Nigeria must invest more in agriculture, adding that failure to do so would lead to a harvest of unhealthy population.
“She said that the drive to increase food production in Nigeria was consistent with the policy thrust of the present administration.
She said, “This policy thrust is focused on the engagement and empowerment programmes for Nigerians through agriculture, due to its potentials for generating massive employment, creation of wealth and reduction of poverty.
“In view of the above, our engagement with the faith-based organisations is expected to play a critical role in the achievement of the SDGs.”
Leaders of the major faith-based organisations in Nigeria who were present at the summit lauded the initiative and pledged to support the government in its agricultural programmes.
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