News Investigators/ The Ndigbo Unity Forum (NUF), a pan-Igbo socio-political organisation, on Wednesday tasked South East governors on revival of neglected agriculture to boost economy and job creation in the zone.
The Chairman of NUF, Augustine Chukwudum, gave the task while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on a holistic approach toward solving socio-economic challenges of the zone.
Mr. Chukwudum also urged the South-East governors to encourage youths to embark on agriculture through creation of a platform that would make loans and grants to be easily accessible.
According to him, the agriculture sector can engage about 70 per cent of South-East people both directly and indirectly; even as the sector deserved attention so that the zone will make headway socio-economically.
He called for provision of improved seedlings and other agricultural-related facilities like tractors, fertilisers as well as increased budgetary allocation to agriculture from below 10 per cent now to 70 per cent.
“NUF wishes to alert the people of the South-East on the danger of neglecting agriculture which was our economic base in the early 60s.
“Then the zone generated so much money from agriculture that was used to develop the old Eastern Region, which everybody is still seeing the impact till today.
“However, it is shameful that the governors are not doing anything for the past 21 years since the inception of this fourth Republic in May, 1999 to September 2020, despite being blessed with arable land that can produce food in commercial quantity.
“We, through our governors, have abandoned the sector that can generate over 10 billion dollars yearly and create more than seven million jobs if well harnessed.
“But it had been abandoned because South-East governors from 1999 to date, are all not having vision and not thinking of the future of the region that is why South-East are very much backward,
“The most shameful part is that they travel to Europe, America and Asia and see how mechanised agriculture is and yet they fail to replicate the same here; as it was even in developing countries that we are richer than,’’ he said.
The NUF leader noted that it was time for Ndigbo to ask questions.
“Our leaders in various states in the zone should wake-up to make agriculture and agro-allied industry a goldmine worthy of engaging in by all on a large and commercial basis,’’ he said.