PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria has continued to face the challenge of meeting domestic food requirements and providing raw materials for the manufacturing sector and export, News Agency of Nigeria reports.
The president made the statement on Saturday at the opening of the 40th Kaduna international trade fair, organised by the Kaduna Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KADCCIMA).
The fair had the theme, “Consolidating Interface Between Industry and Agriculture for Nigeria’s Sustainable Development”.
Buhari, who was represented at the occasion by Okechukwu Enelamah, the minister of industry, trade and investment, said that the commitment of state governments was required for businesses to stay on course.
“For instance, we rely on state governments to provide access to land, act as mediators in conflict prevention and resolution, link local Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to the supply chains of processing companies,” he said.
“States also provide the needed infrastructure to link farms to processing plants and markets, and above all, provide a conducive environment for businesses and their host communities to thrive.
“I am glad to say that we have such a partner in the Kaduna State Government.”
He gave the assurance that the federal government would continue to engage KADCCIMA and the organised private sector to catalyse investment and improve the ease of doing business.
According to him, agriculture contributes 25.5 per cent of Nigeria’s GDP and almost 50 per cent of its labour force.
“But we continue to face the challenge of meeting domestic food requirements, providing raw materials for the manufacturing sector and export,” he said.
“Therefore, creating a strong linkage between agriculture and industry is a sure way of bringing about sustainable growth by creating new jobs, improving value addition.
“The move will also create wealth for farming communities, improve manufacturing output and enable roll-out of infrastructure around farming communities which will industrialise our country in the long run.”