Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture pushes for diversification, says oil era is gone

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The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, during an interview with journalists on Thursday night in Abuja, said that with the government’s agricultural export programme, the era of oil and gas is gone, adding that Nigeria needed dollars from agricultural exports to repay its loans, The Punch reports.

He stated, “India announced two weeks ago that by 2030, there will not be a single car produced or brought into India using diesel or petrol. They will all be electrical. Germany is passing a law that by 2030, no hydrocarbon in the country. The French are wiring their highways; as vehicles pass, they generate electricity in dynamo and batteries. The United States is doing shale oil. The Chinese will soon start their own.”

“If we are waiting for oil and gas hoping that the era will come back, none of you in another six or seven years will be a happy human being, because we do not have money and we are borrowing heavily. How do we repay the loans in dollars?” He further stated that the country would be in serious trouble if it failed to earn between $10bn and $15bn from agriculture by 2020 because the country’s loans would be due for repayment.