Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, has expressed worry at the way Nigerians are over dramatizing the current economic recession.
The Governor made his feelings known Monday, when he hosted to a team of officers from the National Defence Academy, NDC, in Government House, Owerri. “I think what we call recession has been over dramatised.
I say so because agriculture had remained the nation’s main pivot upon which all the sectors of our economy revolve”, Okorocha said.
He further reasoned that “because this vital sector has been neglected, it has given rise to poverty today, including the rise in the Dollar and the fall of the Naira”. It was the Governor’s opinion that “most times in Nigeria, we treat the symptoms rather than the disease”.
He advised that rather than paying undue attention to the recession, “let us discuss more about the disease, which is the total neglect of the agricultural sector of the nation’s economy by our past leaders”.
The Governor recalled that before the advent of oil, agriculture provided over 70 percent of employment and resources of the nation, as well as over 75 percent of Nigeria’s foreign reserves. “At that time, we were a rich nation.
Oil made us lazy. This led us into this recession. Imo State is keying into the revitalization of the agric sector.
We have gone deep in our palm plantation and we are moving speedily into rice farming”, Okorocha said.
Speaking earlier, the leader of the visiting team, Air Vice Marshal H. C. Okpala, said the NDC is where potential strategic leaders are trained.
Okpala explained that the course will afford the participants the opportunity to access, suggest and recommend solutions to the federal and state governments for implementation.