Otunba Gbenga Daniel, a former governor of Ogun State and senator for Ogun East in the National Assembly, has urged Nigerians to get back to farming and turn their nation into the world’s top producer of rice.
Speaking at the opening of a training workshop for rice farmers on Monday at the POLA Facility, Asoludero Court, Sagamu, Daniel stated that the Tinubu-led administration was dedicated to elevating Nigeria to the status of one of the world’s top producers of rice.
He gave Nigerians confidence in the President’s resolve to revitalise the agriculture industry and support workable plans to improve the nation’s food security.
In his address at the programme with the theme: “Promotion of rice value chain for self-sufficiency and import substitution in Remo Communities, Ogun State,” Senator Daniel acknowledged Nigeria’s great potential in rice cultivation and production.
The lawmaker repeatedly emphasised the necessity for citizens to rekindle their interest in farming in order to both meet local consumption and generate foreign cash for the nation, recalling how agriculture once served as the backbone of the country’s economy.
He clarified that his goal was to increase the benefits of democracy and bring government closer to his people, which included creating a training plan for rice farmers.
Daniel urged Nigerians to assist the current government in addressing the numerous issues confronting the nation and provide assistance to its citizens.
The event sponsored by Senator Daniel in collaboration with the National Productivity Centre, saw a distribution of free rice seedlings and fertilizers to not less than 100 participants.
He said, “God has been so good to us in Nigeria. We have a lot of potentials. Before the advent of oil, agriculture was the mainstay of our economy. But somehow, we neglected agriculture which have greater prospects with the land we have in abundance.
“I want to plead with us that it is time to return to farming. This programme is meant to empower our people without fear or favour. We expect you to plant these seedlings and become successful rice farmers. Let us begin to grow rice and make Nigeria become one of the rice-producing countries in the world.”
Daniel promised sufficient representation that would take into account the strategic needs of the senatorial district’s residents, highlighting some of his actions since taking office in the Senate.
Dr. Nasir Raji-Mustapha, the Director-General of the National Productivity Centre, also spoke during the event and referred to rice production as the “new oil” for the country’s economy.
Raji-Mustapha, represented by Engr. Linda Bitrus, praised Senator Daniel for complimenting the Federal Government’s efforts to improve citizen productivity.
While stressing that his organization had been tasked with increasing productivity in all sectors of the economy, including agriculture, the NPC leader challenged the training attendees to return the organizers goodwill.