By Michael Adesanya, Abeokuta
Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo on Thursday warned that if the country failed to take agriculture serious, it would not make it.
Obasanjo insisted that agriculture has capacity to develop enterpreneurs and create millions of employment for the Nigerian youth, but oil sector could only create few millionaires in the society.
The former President, who spoke in Abeokuta at the Youth Enterprises Summit organised by the Youth Development Centre arm of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, OOPL described agriculture as his “second career”, saying no many countries in the world have been successful without agriculture.
He disclosed that his administration opened doors of opportunity that made billionaires in Nigeria today.
According to him, “The truth is this, If we are going to have employment for a millions of youth in this country, it will be mainly in Agriculture business not in Oil and Energy. Oil and energy will give you money, will make a billionaires and multi-billionaires. I opened the opportunity and they took advantage of it, and I thank them for taking advantage of it. All of those who took advantage it, in oil and gas, banking, manufacturing and all that”.
He said “All the billionaires we have today, they came out as a result of them taking advantage of those opportunities. And I am grateful to them that the opportunity that may administration created, they grabbed it and utilised it. One thing is to create opportunity another thing is to find people who will seize the opportunity and make what they have to make out of it”.
“But let take agriculture, we will never make it in this country until we take agriculture seriously. There are not many countries that have made it without taking agriculture seriously.”
Obasanjo who boasted as a successful farmer urged the youths to embrace agriculture and Enterpreneurship.
“If Obasanjo can do it, why can’t you do it. There is enterpreneurship in you and you must develop it. And we will make you develop it”, Obasanjo said.
In his address, the Chairman of the occasion and Deputy Chief Coordinator, OOPL, Ayodele Aderinwa noted that poverty becomes scary in Africa in view of the growing population of youths.
Quoting a statistics, he said, African youths population would hit 850million by 2050, saying the wealth creation via enterpreneurship is the way out to combat proverty.
He said poverty alongside other problems had been with African from pre-colonial era, but all challenges were fought and won but poverty war stands undefeated.
“Poverty connotes darkness and to fight the darkness. So, there is need to shine the light of wealth creation on poverty’s darkness,” he said.
The Keynote speaker, Tope Shonubi who spoke on “Youth and Enterpreneurship in Nigeria: Which way forward,” Shonubi submitted that Nigerian youths have enterpreneurship skills, but lack discipline, urging the youths to be consistent, humble, self-confident and embrace enterneurship with a view to adding values to human lives.