The Republic of Ireland’s Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine, Simon Coveney, has called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to invest more in agriculture because the sector holds invaluable promises for the economy.
Coveney, made the call in Lagos, Nigeria at a forum organised by Enterprise Ireland, a commission that provides key information on markets that are of significant importance to Irish exporters.
As monitored by our correspondent, Coveney advised the government of Nigeria to give more attention to agriculture in the face of falling oil prices in the International market.
He said. There was a time Ireland didn’t have the capacity to feed itself and the economy was so bad but after we prioritise agriculture as a key element capable of making a different, thing change. Today, we can feed a population 10 times ours. And presently, Ireland is one of the biggest economies in Euro zone after it gave more priority to agriculture that now brings in around £26bn annually.
He said this has brought Ireland to become one of the largest exporters of dairy products, beef and groceries to other parts of the world, with many of its companies creating employment for dozens in Nigeria.
According to the Minister, ‘I see that type of potential in Nigeria especially with the array of natural resources the country is blessed with. He said further, Ireland, which is a long term trade partner of Nigeria, and from our interaction with Nigeria government officials, we have seen the readiness of the administration for business and partnership along these lines.
As part of the robust relationship, many Irish companies are ready to collaborate with Nigerian firms to improve the local economy.
The fact remains that agriculture can employ more Nigerians than even the oil sector once given the right type of attention. Nigeria as a country is blessed with many natural resources that are the envy of the world and that is why the Irish government is ready to partner with Nigeria to give assistance in technical capacities and areas that would build agriculture in the country.
Now that help as come, are Nigeria and Nigerians ready? Give me your listening ears.