-Agriculture has the capacity to create employment for millions.
-If Obasanjo can do it, why can’t you?
Former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has declared that Nigeria cannot make headway until the country focuses her attention on agriculture and its numerous benefits.
Obasanjo made the assertion on Thursday at the Youth Enterprises Summit organised by the Youth Development Centre, Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
The large scale farmer stated that agricultural sector is capable of developing entrepreneurs and crating millions of employment opportunities for Nigeria’s teeming youths.
Obasanjo, describing agriculture as his second occupation, stressed that only a few nations across the globe had been successful outside agriculture.
The former President recounted how his administration had created a conducive environment which ushered in many opportunities and made some Nigerians billionaires.
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He said, “The truth is this, if we are going to have employment for millions of youths in this country, it will be mainly in agriculture business not in oil and energy. Oil and energy will give you money; will make a few billionaires and multi-billionaires.
“I opened the doors of opportunity and they took advantage of it, and I thank them for taking advantage of it.
“All the billionaires we have today, they came out as a result of them taking advantage of those opportunities. And I am grateful to them that the opportunities that my administration created, they grabbed it and utilised it.”
He added, “One thing is to create opportunity, another thing is to find people who will seize the opportunity and make what they have to make out of it.
“But let’s take agriculture, we will never make it in this country until we take agriculture seriously. There are not many countries that have made it without taking agriculture seriously.”
Advising youths to venture into agriculture and entrepreneurship, Obasanjo noted that entrepreneurship is in every individual and must be developed, as if he could make it, so can anyone else.
He said, “If Obasanjo can do it, why can’t you do it. There is entrepreneurship in you and you must develop it. And we will make you develop it.”
Speaking on the fear of increased looming poverty among Nigeria’s growing population, the chairman of the occasion, Mr. Ayodele Aderinwa, noted that entrepreneurship is the way out.
Aderinwa said, African youths population would hit 850 million by 2050, arguing that “the wealth creation via entrepreneurship is the way out to combat poverty.”