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Obasanjo blames politicians, not farmers, for food scarcity

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo said, political leaders and not farmers should be blamed for the country’s inability to become self-sufficient in food production.

Obasanjo said this on Sunday at a lecture organized to mark his 86th birthday in Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun state.

It is unfortunate that Nigeria and Africa have failed to take advantage of advances in science and technology to develop the agricultural sector, said the former president.

Obasanjo said Nigerians should blame the country’s leaders for their lack of political will to turn Nigeria into Africa’s breadbasket.

According to him, Nigeria was not created by God to be poor, but the leaders of the country have Nigerians with bad policies.

Obasanjo said, “I believe God did not create Nigeria as a basket case. God created Nigeria for a great purpose. At independence, the world did not refer to Nigeria as a giant in Africa, no, they referred to Nigeria as a giant under the sun, and Nigeria was more than A giant in Africa, a giant in the sun. But not only were we giants in the sun, we weren’t even giants in Africa. Some people called us a giant with mud feet.

“So, this is not what God created Nigeria for, this is what we Nigerians have intentionally or unintentionally made us.

“But, will Nigeria continue like this, I don’t think so. So, we must continue to hold ourselves together, pray and understand all the factors and elements that make us not the giant but the dwarf of Africa and how we can get out of it and I believe and pray that we do get out of it .

“Food security is very important and as long as we are not reasonably self-sufficient in food and nutrition security in Africa, we are of course not doing the right thing for ourselves.

“Until the Ukraine war, I didn’t really realize how much we are in Africa, almost all of us in Africa are dependent on Russians and Ukrainians for wheat. Wheat used to make bread is only carbohydrate, there are no carbohydrate foods that can be produced in Africa that we can be self-sufficient in. I know.” That some of our countries cannot produce wheat and this is something that IITA cannot produce and it did.

“Science and technology have given us everything we need to achieve food and nutrition security in Africa, what is left is political will and political action.

“And if we fail to provide food and nutrition security, we cannot blame our scientists, we blame our politicians and our farmers, but we blame the politicians more than the farmers because I was at the helm and I can tell you that farmers are ready if they get all the incentives and encouragement that politicians should give “.

Obasanjo blames politicians, not farmers, for food scarcity

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