Managing Director of Muregi Associates Limited, Hussaini Mohammed has said that there was the need for the Federal Government of Nigeria to return to agriculture as the major foreign exchange earner.
Mohammed said that the country should not wait until the oil dries up before focusing on agriculture.
Mohammed, who was a director of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), said that in order to promote the relevance of agriculture to the nation’s economy, his company would organise a conference on “Development from Global Perspectives: Agriculture Versus Oil and Gas” in Abuja next week.
According to him, the issue of agriculture versus oil and gas was like chicken and the egg which one comes first, explaining that the time had come for Nigeria to focus on the traditional area of agriculture for foreign exchange and employment generation.
Mohammed noted that the conference would give the participants, who were drawn from all the states of the federation and outside the shores of this country, the opportunity to exchange ideas on these issues.
“The fact that the world is a global village makes it imperatives for world acclaimed authorities to come and speak on issues that are relevant to the existence of the country. The essence of global village is exchange of ideas. Globalization does not mean movement of goods and services but exchange of ideas,” he said.
Mohammed disclosed that one of the world’s most renowned development strategists and author of several books, including “The End of History”, Prof. Francis Fukuyama, would present a paper on ‘Development from Global Perspectives’ with focus on the key issues of governance, leadership and the prosperity of nations.
He added that Former Dean, Faculty of Business Administration, University of Benin, Prof. Bob Osazee, would be speaking on “Agriculture Versus Oil and Gas” while Under Secretary General United Nations (UN), Ibrahim Gambari, would chair the conference.
The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the Nigeria Governors’ Forum are expected to participate in the conference, while the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, would jointly be the keynote speakers.
Justifying invitation to Fukuyama, Mohammed said Nigeria should see his coming as an opportunity to leverage and tap from Fukuyama wealth of experience.
Fukuyama has written widely on issues relating to questions concerning democratisation and international political economy. His books include: The End of History and the Last Man; America at the Crossroads; Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy, Falling Behind: Explaining the Development Gap between Latin America and the United States.