The Governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha has said that the current economic challenges facing the nation came as a result of total neglect of the Agricultural sector by the country’s past leaders, stressing that before the advent of oil, agriculture provided over 70 per cent of the employment and resources of the country and 75 percent of the country’s foreign reserve.
Governor Okorocha spoke when the officers from the Nigeria Defence College (NDC) paid courtesy call on him at the Government House on Monday October 10, 2016 explaining that before now, with agriculture playing dominant role in the economy and resources of the nation, the country was regarded as a rich nation but regretted that the discovery of oil made Nigerians lazy and the resultant effect is what is called recession today.
The governor told the officers who were in Owerri for a course with the Theme “Enhancing Food Security for National Development; The Role of The State Government”, that the subject-matter of the course was timely and key, given what the nation is passing through at the moment.
He said “I think what we call recession has been over dramatized. I say so because agriculture had remained the Nation’s main pivot upon which all the sectors of our economy revolve and because this vital sector has been neglected, it has given rise to what is called poverty today including the rise in the dollar and the fall of Naira.”
He added “Most of the times in this country, we treat the symptoms of the disease rather than the disease itself. Rather than discussing more about this recession, let us discuss more about the disease that is bringing us back, one of which is the total neglect of the agricultural sector of the economy by our past leaders. Before the advent of oil, agriculture provided over 70% of the employment and resources of our land and 75% of our foreign reserve and that time we were a rich nation. Oil made us lazy which led us into this “recession.”