Obasanjo Profers Solution To Security Challenges

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has opined that the rising spate of banditry and kidnappings in Nigeria is due to unemployment.

Obasanjo said this at the 9th International Trade Exhibition & Conference on Agrofood, Plastics, Printing, and Packaging in Lagos on Tuesday.

He said, “Of course, if we can achieve this, it will improve our security. Part of our insecurity is men and women who are not properly engaged.

“If we can give them employment, there will be less of them getting involved in banditry, in kidnapping, and in doing various other criminal activities that they get involved in,” he added.

Describing himself as ‘a mad man for agriculture,’ According to the former president, agriculture must be encouraged to ensure food security, nutrition security, employment, wealth development, the eradication of poverty, and income generation—particularly foreign exchange.

He pointed out that access, affordability, and availability of food must all be factors in the nation’s push for food security.

Obasanjo said, “A friend of mine said to me, you must be a madman. I asked him what he meant, and he said if I was not a madman I would not have gone into agriculture. So, I am a madman for agriculture. When it has to do with agriculture, you can be sure that when you call me, I will answer.

“Food security starts with availability. We must be able to produce enough. Then there is affordability. We must be able to get everybody who needs food to be able to get the food that they need. Then there is accessibility. We must get food to where it is needed.

“Almost 40 percent of our food goes to waste after cultivation. So, food security and nutrition security make agribusiness important.”

Obasanjo observed that encouraging more young people to pursue careers in agriculture is one of the most effective ways to reduce youth emigration, unemployment, and insecurity.

He bemoaned the fact that young Nigerians frequently choose to investigate career options in the entertainment sector, underscoring the necessity of elevating agriculture to a glamorous status.

In order to enable farmers to set short- and long-term goals without worrying about potential policy cries that may destroy their plans, the former president also urged legislators at all levels to guarantee policy stability.

Obasanjo stated that providing farmers with single-digit loans is essential since no agribusiness can operate economically with double-digit loans.

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