Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has blamed political leaders, rather than farmers, for Nigeria and Africa’s inability to take advantage of technological advancements in the agricultural sector.
Speaking at a lecture in Abeokuta, on Sunday Obasanjo asserted that Nigerian leaders lacked the political will to transform the country into the “food basket of Africa.”
He argued that Nigeria was not created to be poor and that poor policies from leaders have hindered the country’s development.
Obasanjo said, “I believe that God has not created Nigeria as a basket case. God has 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 in the sun, Nigeria was more than a giant in Africa, it was a giant in the sun. But, not only have we not been giants in the sun, we have not even been giants in Africa. Some people called us giants with clay feet.
“So, that is not what God has created Nigeria to be, that is what we Nigerians have inadvertently or advertently made Nigeria to be.”
Obasanjo also stated that Africa must move from being a consumption country to a producing nation to ensure food and job security.
Earlier in his lecture, titled: “The Complex Dynamics in Achieving Food and Nutrition Security in Africa”, The former Director-General of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Dr Nteranya Sanginga, who spoke at the same lecture, revealed that African countries still spend billions of dollars importing food, despite the availability of fertile land.
He called for African governments to show more political will and determination towards food security.