The Vice Chancellor of Ajayi Crowther University, ACU, Prof. Timothy Abiodun Adebayo, has asserted that Nigeria has no reason to be poor if the leadership can look inwards and creatively convert the abundant God-given assets to the nation’s advantage.
According to the agriculturist-turned-university administrator, “with abundance of arable land, abundance of rainfall, beautiful forest and vegetation, fauna and flora, animal husbandry among others, what is the relationship between Nigeria and poverty? We only need to be serious in converting all these natural resources into our own advantages.”
Adebayo who spoke while inspecting the agricultural efforts of the university in Oyo, pointed out that part of being serious as a nation desirous of overcoming poverty was to quickly stop the incessant herders-farmers clashes and adopt a modern method of grazing.
He also suggested heavy investment in agriculture, stoppage of importation of food that could be produced locally and to vigorously fight corruption and indiscipline.
“When we encourage our teeming youths to see agriculture as a solution to this ravaging poverty and hunger, when we decide to invest in the value chains of agricultural produce with quality packaging and marketing, we would have succeeded in banishing poverty from our land,” he stressed.
The VC added: “I keep wondering why we are dying of hunger. This is a country where we can feed ourselves producing major crops like beans, rice, sesame, cashew nuts, cassava, cocoa, groundnuts, palm kernels, palm oil, soya beans among others. But we abandoned all these because of oil. Now, oil is fast becoming irrelevant. It is high time we went back to farm.”
Adebayo cited Ajayi Crowther University’s efforts, saying it had started producing honey for sale apart from the acres of cassava which would soon be due for harvest.
He disclosed that the farm already had a fishery, just as it had marked out some acres, in Ofa Meta campus, where it would plant pineapples.
“Our animal rearing efforts are beautifully looking up,” he added.
The VC advised government and the populace to go back to the land, pointing out that if Nigerians could till the land, the land would smile back with abundance of harvest.
Accompanying the VC was the University’s Bursar, Mr. Samson Olojede.