Enyioha Opara, Minna
FORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo may have started another war with the members of the National Assembly when he described the constituency projects being embarked upon by the lawmakers as “corruption.”
Obasanjo said this at the opening of a two-day investment forum organised by the Niger State Government in Minna on Monday.
The forum had “Impact of Investing for Advancing Agricultural Economy and Innovation,” as its theme.
Obasanjo said, “The Sultan talked about roads, I hope our lawmakers will use their position and act positively so that when they put in road projects in the budget they will not turn it into what they now term as constituency projects.
“You and I know what constituency projects mean. It is simply corruption.”
The former President had been involved in verbal wars with the members of the National Assembly during and after his time in office.
He once, reportedly, described the federal lawmakers as a “bunch of corrupt elements,” provoking the lawmakers to, in turn, describe him as “the father of corruption in Nigeria.”
Obasanjo said federal and state governments should embark on massive rural and urban road construction to facilitate the movement of agricultural products from the farms to the markets.
“If there is anything that will take us out of recession, it is agriculture; that is the only renewable business we can do to give us all the job creation, wealth creation that we need,” he said.
Also speaking, a former military Head of State General Abdulsalami Abubakar, noted that in another 33 years, the world population would hit the nine billion mark with Nigeria accounting for five per cent of this global population, stating also that by then food would be the greatest challenge.
Abubakar, therefore, advised that everything should be done to increase the cultivation of food and cash crops in the country to avoid the anticipated food shortage.
The Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, in his address, said the forum was not a talk shop, as was feared by some of the participants.
“The decisions and recommendations will be implemented,” Bello said.
The governor said over 400,000 hectares of land was available in the Borgu Local Government Area of the state and another 500,000 hectares in the Lavun Local Government Area suitable for the cultivation of rice and sugarcane and therefore asked investors to take advantage of this opportunity.
Declaring the summit opened, the acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, announced that states willing to partner the Federal Government to develop federal infrastructure would be encouraged to do so.
Osibanjo said that the country’s quest for diversification “does not lie in hydrocarbon; the solution is to transform agriculture.” (Punchng.com)