The Chairman of Honeywell Group Plc, Dr. Oba Otudeko, yesterday said the nation’s economy is at present in a national emergency.
Dr. Otudeko revealed this in his opening statements at the on-going first Daily Trust Agric Conference and Exhibition in Abuja, which was sorted out in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
“I respectively opine that our current economic state is a national emergency and all hands – federal, state and local governments – must be on the deck together to craft a lasting solution, using agriculture and agribusiness as driving vehicles,” he noted.
The chairman pointed out that due to lack of foresight, “we have created an economy characterized by sustained unbalanced budget with high fiscal deficit; high cost of governance; long era of conspicuous consumption; limited savings, if any, at all levels; high youth unemployment and unmaintained fragile and lean infrastructure.”
He urged all stakeholders in the national economy to use this moment of national history to diversify the economic base so as to develop other national endowments: land and agricultural resources, forest resources and water resources, among others.
Earlier in a welcome address delivered on behalf of Mallam Kabiru A. Yusuf, Chairman/CEO, Media Trust Ltd; Mr. Abhay Desai, the Chief Operating Officer (COO), said Daily Trust was determined to bring agriculture to focus in Nigeria.
He stated that Nigeria was blessed with other natural resources that must be properly harnessed to diversify the economy.
Mr. Abhay, who disclosed that his parents were farmers, noted that 70% of India’s economy is run by agriculture. He called on Nigeria to give more attention to the sector.
Dignitaries who attended the occasion include Alhaji Umar Mutallab, Chairman, Jaiz Bank, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, Architect Kabiru Ibrahim, President, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Alhaji Mohammed Kudu -San Turaki, Sarkin Noman Nigeria, and representative of the Northern traditional institution, Alhaji Lawal Hassan Gumi, the Emir of Gummi in Zamfara State as well as Dr. Adamu Baba Yususa and Ona of Abaji.