Over the last couple of years, Nigeria has nestled its reliance predominantly on the Petroleum Industry. Decline in agricultural production in Nigeria began with the advent of the petroleum boom in the early 1970s. The boom in the oil sector brought about a distortion of the labor market. The distortion in turn produced adverse effects on the production levels of both food and cash crops.
Agriculture provided 41 percent of Nigeria’s total gross domestic product (GDP) in 1999. This percentage represented a normal decrease of 24.7 percent from its contribution of 65.7 percent to the GDP in 1957. It was predicted that the decrease will continue because, as economic development occurs, the relative size of the agricultural sector usually decreases.
But in changing such narratives, Nigeria has churn out some outstanding leaders who believe so much in Nigeria’s prospects in Agriculture. Governor Benedict Ayade is one such persons who has expressed leadership and excellence in driving that economic diversification policy which was long overdue.
The Young and Articulate Governor has significantly decouple Cross River State from over-dependence on oil-driven federal allocation through diversification of the state’s economy.
He is building an ultramodern rice mill in Ogoja, a 30000 per anum cocoa processing plant in Ikom. Also established a cotton farm in Woda, Yala, Banana Plantation in Odukpani. Work has also commenced on the Calabar ultra modern poultry farm and yellow maize farm in Obubra among others.
No doubt, the ‘Agriculture Governor’ as he’s fondly called by one of his Followers Kazeem Tanimu – has displayed vision and leadership in adhering to the discipline of taking the Nigerian Economy out of the over reliance on the oil industry, and has set a developmental milestone that history i will remember him for.