All the thirty-six state governments in Nigeria have been urged to develop their agricultural potentials for export to earn the country the needed foreign exchange.
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello who gave the charge while receiving a delegation from Akwa Ibom state, South-South Nigeria led by the Special Assistant to the Governor on Grassroots Mobilization, Mr. Emmanuel Inyang, in Abuja said the action would go a long way creating the needed employment to a large percentage of the populace in the country as white-collar jobs are becoming extremely difficult to come by.
Malam Bello expressed the willingness of the FCT Administration to collaborate with any state that is willing to venture into agricultural production for export in the overall interest of the country as the nation is in dire need of a diversified economy.
He noted that the advanced countries prefer organic food and therefore enjoined the government of Akwa Ibom State to give attention to production of pumpkin (Ugwu) as one of their peculiar agricultural product that can be developed for export.
The Minister stated that the FCT Administration was particularly interested boosting the production of coconut as well as pumpkin (Ugwu), to be exported to Europe and other continents.
Malam Bello added that Nigeria has favourable environmental conditions as well as the manpower required to challenge and possibly surpass Ghana, which he said accounts for nearly all the pumpkin (Ugwu) being exported to Europe and other West African sub regions.
“A lot of the Ugwu that is being sold in London for the diaspora and even the West African sub region, even for those in Europe is actually being shipped from Ghana.” “Nothing prevents us from organising ourselves properly through the women groups of your state and other states from really growing this vegetable nicely and shipping it every morning to London”, he stressed
The Minister also disclosed that the investment arm of the FCTA, Abuja Enterprises Agency would be interested in acquiring improved coconut varieties from Akwa Ibom to be planted in the southern part of the FCT where he said the soil is quite ideal for such purposes.
Speaking earlier, the Special Assistant to the Governor on Grassroots Mobilisation, Mr. Emmanuel Inyang, remarked that the State encourages its indigenes that are willing to do genuine business and contribute to the development of the city to be law abiding and to also maintain peace and order.
He expressed their willingness to partner with the FCT Administration and support the Minister in all his activities.