By Noah Ocheni, Lokoja
The Kogi State Commissioner For Agriculture, Mr David Apeh on Monday in Lokoja warned that the continuous dependence on crude oil by the Nigeria government may spell doom for the nation’s economy.
Apeh gave the warning on Monday at a day stakeholders’ meeting to promote environmental protection through replacement of worn out oil palm in low carbon areas, organized by Solidaridad West Africa in collaboration with other non-governmental Organisations in the state.
Other non – governmental collaborators were: the Youth and Women Health Empowerment Project, (YAWHEP), Development and Female Gender Initiative, (DEGENDER), Intellect, and Participation Initiative For Behavioral Change in Development, (PIBCID).
The Commissioner disclosed that Nigeria is richly blessed with abundant natural resources to feed its self and the rest of the world outside crude oil, but lamented that Nigeria is drifting towards a direction which showed that only agriculture will Save the nations economy from total collapse.
Apeh recalled that in the early 50’s to late 70’s, the Nigeria economy was at its peak through agriculture stressing that, the oil which the government was depending upon would soon come to a total halt.
He described the workshop as timely adding that both the federal and state governments are working tirelessly to promote agricultural production in the country.
The commissioner further pointed out that the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN) has arranged for funds to encourage farmers in agriculture in its bid to meet the demands of food production and it’s security in the country.
In his paper titled, ‘Effect of Deforestation and Non replacement of oil palm trees on low carbon areas, the need for sensitization/community response to positive action to environmental protection’, presented by Friday Ogezi, Senior Program Officer, ACTIONAID Nigeria, stressed the need to build a sustainable ecosystem through best management practices to improve conservation and environmental protection.
He stressed that replacement of oil palm trees has become important to ensure environmental protection, despite the challenges of the large scale replacement. The need for alternate crops and farming systems that help conserve and promotes afforestation has becomes necessary.
Earlier, the Managing Partner Intellect Associates A & J LTD,. Mr. Odiba James said effect of climate change in the world calls for concerns, as there is scarcity of food stuffs in the country and high cost of living due to drop in production.