Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun state has advised Nigerians to develop more appetite for other staple foods, such as plantain, and stop chasing after rice in order to boost the country’s export profile and strengthen the naira against the dollar.
The governor stressed the need to patronize local materials, especially agricultural produce and opined that it was high time Nigerians resorted to developing more appetite for other staple foods, such as plantains, cassava among others.
Aregbesola explains that plantain is healthier and more nutritious than rice and edible in different versions. He further queried why Nigerians have been pursuing rice and not develop plantain to promote it internationally.
Stressing the need not to insist on rice as if there are no options, Aregbesola explains that China has realised that the energy required to produce a kilogram of rice is more than the energy that goes into the production of a kilogram of other carbohydrates.
Speaking with newsmen in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, Aregbesola noted that not only the government but Nigerians had a lot of proactive roles to play in mitigating the dehumanizing effects of the recession.
He warned that if proactive measures are not applied by the Federal Government and the citizenry to tackle the ongoing economic recession, the effects would soon snowball into a civil war scenario.
Speaking on some of his administration’s achievements so far, Aregbesola disclosed how his people-oriented social service programmes have boosted the state’s economy.
He said not less than 20,000 youths have been engaged for public work such as sanitation, traffic control, medical emergencies among others to keep them busy and useful to themselves and the society and government pays them stipends.
Besides the youths, he adds that government also gives N10,000 lifeline monthly to elderly citizens in the state that are vulnerable and in deplorable conditions that can not help themselves. A professor from Obafemi Awolowo University, (OAU), Ile-Ife, was engaged by the state government to discover them.
The Governor boasts that the kind of miseries seen in some states due to hardship can no longer be seen in Osun state.