President Muhammadu Buhari has urged traditional rulers to mobilise and educate their people on the need to engage in massive agricultural activities, to boost food production in the country.
The president, who made the call in Abuja on Wednesday at the breaking of Ramadan fast with traditional rulers from across the country, said the call had become imperative in view of the dwindling oil revenue.
According to him, the current economic challenges facing the country could only be addressed through the diversification of the economy.
Nigerians have no option than to go back to farming to achieve food security, the president said.
He expressed optimism that with the cooperation of the traditional rulers and other stakeholders in the agriculture sector, the country could achieve self-sufficiency in food production within the next two years.
Buhari narrated how billions of dollars generated by the country were wasted on importation of food items that could be produced locally.
“In food production, we can feed ourselves and even export; this is why we are seriously turning to agriculture.
That is why I’m asking you, for our own survival as a nation state, to keep on telling our people that whoever has a piece of land, please let him cultivate it even if he is going to cultivate what he will eat and feed his family.
Please make sure you mobilise your people to go back to farming,” Buhari said.
He also urged mechanised farmers to go into the establishment of agro-allied industries, to boost employment opportunities in the country.
Responding on behalf of the traditional rulers, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, assured the president that members of the Traditional Rulers’ Council would continue to partner with the government for peaceful co-existence among the diverse ethnic groups in the country.
He said that the traditional rulers had resolved to continue to pray for the progress and survival of Nigeria as a geopolitical entity.
The Sultan thanked the president for inviting the traditional rulers from across the country to the Ramadan breaking of fast.