The Vice Chancellor of Adeleke University, Professor Dayo Alao says agriculture remains the only possible way out of the current Nigeria’s economic recession.
Prof Alao who recently resumed as the head of the institution made this call at a press briefing in Osogbo Osun, state, South West Nigeria.
He says Nigeria’s neglect of Agriculture, its over-reliance on crude oil and wasteful spendings are the causes of the recession.
“It is unfortunate that Nigeria has forgotten so soon, the benefits of groundnut pyramid in the North, cocoa and rubber plantation in the West, palm oil and charcoal in East. If Nigeria had not depended solely on crude oil, the economic recession would not have affected the country to this extent.
“It’s unfortunate that oil money is no more. We have over slept. That is why we are having a problem now,” he said.
The VC said profligacy and official stealing by the privileged few has led to the anger of the under privileged. Hence, an increase in the rate of robbery, kidnapping and so on.
“Flamboyant life that many rich people are living has also impacted on the economy negatively. The rich people must focus more on investment that would pave way for employment opportunities rather than investing billions in private buildings that amount to colossal waste.”
Ensure productivity at all levels
Professor of Mass Communication who is also a former General Manager of the Daily Times urged the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to ensure adequate productivity at all levels
He said collaboration between the Federal Government and the states with special mandate for every local government to focus and specialise on at least one farm produce for export – as being done in Asian countries – will galvanise the economy.
He stressed that if massive resources being frittered away are well channelled and adequately utilised, it would go a long way in boosting the nation’s economy.
“To get out of the present economic mess the Federal Government has to be proactive by encouraging everybody to be productive, especially those in the rural areas who have access to land and engage in agriculture It is high time people stopped starching money away in foreign accounts but plug it into useful economic ventures ,” he added.
Nigeria has been over-blessed
Professor Alao noted that too much of blessings had indulged the past leaders. He said the over abundant blessings was kick-started by the independence that was secured on a platter of gold without blood shed.
“Nigerian leaders do not value the independence, thereby acting with impunity. In South Africa, independence was got with blood, toil and struggle of the nationalists. Hence, Nigerian leaders, past and present, are a replica of the colonial masters. They merely inherited the colonialists who impoverished Africans at that time. So, they are the ones who put us in this mess,” he lamented.
Entrepreneurship per excellence
The Vice Chancellor stated that the university, going by the reality of the present situation, the university has wholesomely embraced Entrepreneurship. He said every student in Adeleke University has a portion of land where he she practices agriculture and learn from it.
This stressed that this has set a creditable academic standard that are matched with agricultural and entrepreneurial programmes that generate employment.
“All we need is to develop the resources. For instance, Adeleke University has gone agricultural. By next year, we would be selling cheap rams to Muslim faithful for the Eid el Kabir in addition to enough gari, bread, bottle water and poultry to feed the school community and the state. This is also targeted at making the university to be self sustaining,”
– Yinka Salaam, Osogbo