Diversification of the economy from the oil sector to other sectors of the economy is one popular advice that has been given to Nigeria policy makers for a very long time. While some believe no efforts is being made towards diversification, others are of the thought that little efforts are being made. In a bid to increase its efforts towards diversification of the economy, the Federal government introduced a programme tagged ‘The Green Imperative’ which is aimed at creating about five million jobs in the country. This initiative of the federal government is an agricultural revolution programme that would create a sustainable supply chain of raw materials for the country’s large manufacturing companies to source locally, thereby saving billions of dollars in food-related foreign exchange.
During a media briefing in Abuja, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said the programme, with investible funds worth $1.2 billion, would save the country scarce resources, promote mechanized farming and engender value-added agricultural production. He went on to say that the project is a Nigeria-Brazil bilateral agriculture development programme which was conceptualized on June 6, 2016 by virtue of the country’s enrolment in Brazil’s Government-to-Government More Food International Programme (MFIP) and was launched by Vice President Yemi Osibanjo on January 17,2019 at an event graced by representatives of the South American nation, Deutsche Bank in addition to the private sector players from the two countries.
The project would be implemented from five to 10 years with funding from the Development Bank of Brazil (BNDES) and Deutsche Bank, while insurance is to be provided by the Brazilian Guarantees and Fund Managements Agency (ABGF) and the Islamic Corporation for Insurance of Export Credit (ICIEC) of the Islamic Development Bank (ISDB) and coordinated by Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV); He added
This news seems to be a consoling one as NBS released a report of how over 40% Nigerians lost their jobs to the pandemic; this initiative could lessen its effects as the minister projected that about 100,000 extension workers will be trained, while the project would impact over 35 million persons nutritionally and economically as well as revitalize research and extension services through a five-year technology package transfer component within three years. It was also said that the initiative will birth the establishment of 142 agro-processing centers for value addition and six plants would be reactivated in all of the nation’s the six-geopolitical zones to assemble tractors and other implements besides importation of the Completely Knocked Down (CKD) parts of about 5,000 earth removers and numerous tools for 10 years.